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Free Content Cardiovascular risk factor levels in a lower middle-class community in Ankara, Turkey

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Summary Study objective

 To assess the prevalence of risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) in a lower middle-class urban community of Turkey. Design

Cross-sectional study in an age- and sex-stratified random community sample with equal sample size per stratum. Direct age-standardization using the standard world population to allow international comparison of findings. Logistic regression modelling to identify risk factors for obesity. Setting

Gülveren, a residential area in Ankara, total population 23 000 persons. Participants

A total of 1672 adults aged 25–64 years and resident in the study community were interviewed, 1272 (76.1%) of those came for physical examination. Main results

The age-standardized prevalence of hypertension according to WHO MONICA criteria was 18.6% (95% confidence interval: 16.1–21.1%) among women and 12.3% (9.7–14.9%) among men; of obesity (body mass index, BMI ≥30 kg/m2) 51.0% (47.6–54.3%) among women and 15.1% (12.0–18.2%) among men; of current smoking 20.1% (17.5–22.6%) among women and 64.8% (61.4–68.2%) among men; of hypercholesterolaemia 20.1% (17.4–22.9%) among women and 13.8% (10.8–16.8%) among men; and of low high density lipoprotein (HDL) 48.4% (44.8–52.1%) among women and 40.6% (36.0–45.2%) among men. In the regression model, age, female sex, non- and ex-smoking were associated with obesity. Conclusions

The prevalence of smoking, obesity and low HDL is high in this urban, lower middle-class population, even in comparison with industrialized countries. Unexpectedly, women have less favourable CHD risk profiles than men, except for smoking. Preventive action should be community-wide and address the common risk factors simultaneously to avoid replacement effects such as becoming obese after quitting smoking.
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Keywords: Turkey; cardiovascular disease; health transition; prevention; risk factor

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey 2: Medical Policlinic, Gießen University and Turkish-German Health Foundation, Gießen, Germany 3: Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public Health, Heidelberg University, Germany

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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