Recent trends and sociodemographic distribution of cardiovascular risk factors: results from two population surveys in the Austrian WHO CINDI demonstration area.Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2001 Aug 16; 113(15-16):573-9.WK
The major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases are well established; however, only a few studies report on recent trends in risk factor profiles. This study analyses the sociodemographic distribution of risk factors and gives an account of their changes from 1991 to 1999.
Two cross-sectional population surveys as part of the CINDI (Countrywide Integrated Noncommunicable Diseases Intervention) program of the World Health Organization were performed in 1991 and 1999 in the province of Vorarlberg (Austria). The surveys included a standardized interview and a medical examination. 1863 persons aged 25 to 64 years in 1991 and 1550 persons in 1999 participated in the interview section of the surveys. From these, 1446 in 1991 and 841 persons in 1999 underwent medical examination. Prevalence of overweight and obesity, mild and severe hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, regular smoking and lack of physical activity were estimated. Framingham risk functions were calculated to compare overall risk for coronary heart disease.
In women, prevalence of overweight including obesity increased from 34% in 1991 to 41% in 1999. Almost 50% of the male population were estimated to be overweight or obese in 1991 and 1999. Hypertension showed a favorable trend and decreased substantially in both genders. Hypercholesterolemia decreased only in men, from 27% to 21%. In 1999, women aged 55-64 showed a prevalence of over 50% in highly elevated cholesterol. Hypertriglyceridemia decreased in men from 21% to 18%, in women it remained almost unchanged. Total prevalence of smoking did not change from 1991 to 1999. 34% of the men and 24% of the women reported to smoke more than one cigarette daily. In women under 45 years of age, regular smoking increased slightly and reached a prevalence of over 30%. Less educated people and people of non-national origin had significantly higher risk factor levels. The risk functions did not reveal a significant difference in 10 year risk for coronary heart disease between the two surveys.
Decreasing levels in hypertension and in male hypercholesterolemia showed favorable developments in risk factor prevalence. Preventive measures should concentrate on reducing overweight in older people and smoking in young women as well as on intensifying the care for less educated people and people of non-national origin.