International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 653–662 | Cite as

Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among adults in Aleppo, Syria

  • Radwan Al AliEmail author
  • Samer Rastam
  • Fouad M. Fouad
  • Fawaz Mzayek
  • Wasim Maziak
Original Article



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.


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.


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).


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.


Cardiovascular risk factors Adults Smoking Syria Eastern Mediterranean 



This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Grant R01 DA024876-01 and by the EU grant MEDiterranean studies of Cardiovascular disease and Hyperglycaemia (MedCHAMPS).


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radwan Al Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Samer Rastam
    • 1
  • Fouad M. Fouad
    • 1
  • Fawaz Mzayek
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wasim Maziak
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Syrian Center for Tobacco StudiesAleppoSyria
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA

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