, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 653-662
Date: 04 Aug 2011

Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among adults in Aleppo, Syria

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Abstract

Objectives

This report provides the first comprehensive and standardized assessment of the distribution of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in Syria, where such data are still scarce.

Methods

A population-based household survey was conducted in Aleppo (population >2.5 million), involving 1,168 subjects ≥25 years old (47.7% men; mean age 44.7 ± 12.7 years). Information about socio-demographics, personal behavior, and other CVD risk factors was collected. Anthropometric measurements and fasting blood samples were obtained.

Results

The prevalence of clinical risk factors of CVD (ClinRFs) was 45.6% for hypertension, 43.2% for obesity, 21.9% for hypercholesterolemia and 15.6% for diabetes. The prevalence of behavioral risk factors (BehRFs) was 82.3% for physical inactivity, 39.0% for smoking, and 33.4% for unhealthy diet. All ClinRFs increased with age, while gender was associated only with obesity and smoking. Education was associated with obesity and diabetes (P < 0.05 for all).

Conclusions

Adults in Syria have some of the world’s highest prevalence of CVD risk factors. Unhealthy behaviors and social norms unfavorable to women may explain some of such risk profiles.