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High prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in a Western urban Turkish population: a community-based study

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus , obesity , smoking , Framingham risk score , coronary heart disease , prevalence

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Objective: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the largest cause of morbidity and mortality in Turkey and in the World. Heart of Bal ova Project is a community- based health promotion project that aims to reduce CVD incidence and prevalence through risk factor modification in the individual and population level. This paper presents results of the baseline survey that aimed to define CVD risk factors and risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) in the Bal ova population.Methods: The study population included 36,187 people over 30 years of age residing in Bal ova in 2007. Individuals were interviewed at their homes. Anthropometrics and blood pressure were measured and in total 12914 fasting blood samples were collected for lipid and glucose analyses. CHD risk was estimated using Framingham risk equation. Student’s t test, Chi-square for trend test and ANOVA were used to compare mean levels and percentages of risk factors between age groups and gender.Results: In total 5552 men and 10528 women participated in the study. Smoking prevalence was 38.6% in men and 26.8% in women. The prevalence of obesity was 29.4% among men and 44.2% among women and obesity prevalence increased until the age group 75 years old. While 14.6% of men and 12.6% of women had diabetes, 39.8% of men and 41.8% of women had hypertension. The prevalence of high total cholesterol was 56.0% in men and 50.6% in women. Men had a higher risk of developing CHD compared to women in the following 10 years (13.4% vs 2.5%). Conclusion: The prevalence of preventable risk factors for CHD is very high in Bal ova population. Community-based interventions should be planned and implemented targeting both the high-risk individuals and whole population.

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