IHHP Article: Distribution of cardiovascular disease risk factors among Iranian adults according to level of education: IHHP
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Distribution of cardiovascular disease risk factors among Iranian adults according to level of education: IHHP

HR. Roohafza, M. Sadeghi, M. Saaidi, H. Tloii

Background
There is an abundant body of evidence suggesting that socioeconomic status (SES) is inversely and consistently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in different countries.

Objective
To describe the distribution of CVD risk factors according to level of education in Iranian adults as part of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP).

Methods
A cross-sectional survey was performed in three provincial cities in Iran in 2002. This study was performed on 12,302 subjects aged over 19 years. Demographic data, as well as information about the patients' education, current medications, and smoking habits were obtained through home interviews and a visit to clinic was arranged to measure the subjects' height, weight, blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL-C. Data were analyzed with SPSS-Win using Mentel-Haenzel test, Kendall’s T correlation test and multivariate analysis test.

Results
A total of 9587 subjects were studied, 48% of whom were male and 52% were female, with mean ages of 38.99±15.30 and 38.80±14.54 years, respectively. The prevalence of smoking and hypertriglyceridemia was significantly higher in men, and the prevalence of hypertension, high LDL-C, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and overweight was higher in women (P<0.001). Education had an inverse relationship with the prevalence of dyslipidemia (increased TC or TG or LDL-C), hypertension and overweight (P<0.001), but not with smoking in women. In men, inverse relationships were observed for all the variables except TC and LDL-C (P<0.001). The mean values of TC, LDL-C, TG, BP, BMI, FBS and WHR showed a significant inverse association with education, both in men and women (P<0.001).

Discussion
The differences found between the prevalence of CVD risk factors in subjects with different levels of education should be considered in the design of programs aimed at increasing knowledge and education with the ultimate goal of lowering the prevalence of CVD.

Key words
Education, Cardiovascular risk factors

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