Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Chinese

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Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk in the Chinese

Abstract and Introduction


Aims Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is now the most prevalent and debilitating disease affecting the Chinese population. The goal of the present manuscript was to analyse cardiovascular risk factors and the prevalence of non-fatal CVDs from data gathered from the 2007–2008 China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study.
Methods and results A nationally representative sample of 46 239 adults, 20 years of age or older, was randomly recruited using a multistage stratified design method. Lifestyle factors, diagnosis of CVD, stroke, diabetes, and family history of each subject were collected, and an oral glucose tolerance test or a standard meal test was performed. Various non-fatal CVDs were reported by the subjects. SUDAAN software was used to perform all weighted statistical analyses, with P < 0.05 considered statistically significant. The prevalence of coronary heart disease, stroke, and CVDs was 0.74, 1.07, and 1.78% in males; and 0.51, 0.60, and 1.10% in females, respectively. The presence of CVDs increased with age in both males and females. The prevalence of being overweight or obese, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, or hyperglycaemia was 36.67, 30.09, 67.43, and 26.69% in males; and 29.77, 24.79, 63.98, and 23.62% in females, respectively. In the total sample of 46 239 patients, the prevalence of one subject having 1, 2, 3, or ≥4 of the 5 defined risk factors (i.e. smoking, overweight or obese, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, or hyperglycaemia) was 31.17, 27.38, 17.76, and 10.19%, respectively. Following adjustment for gender and age, the odds ratio of CVDs for those who had 1, 2, 3, or ≥4 risk factors was 2.36, 4.24, 4.88, and 7.22, respectively, when compared with patients with no risk factors.
Conclusion Morbidity attributed to the five defined cardiovascular risk factors was high in the Chinese population, with multiple risk factors present in the same individual. Therefore, reasonable prevention strategies should be designed to attenuate the rapid rise in cardiovascular morbidity.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world; incidentally, it remains the most important disease affecting the health of the Chinese population. The proportion of deaths in China caused by CVD compared with all other causes of death has increased from 12.8% in 1951 to 35.8% in 1990. The early detection and treatment of high-risk patients has been enforced as a key strategy in the prevention of CVD. Ageing, cigarette smoking, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, and hyperglycaemia are traditional risk factors in the development of CVD. The likelihood of being diagnosed with or developing CVD is significantly increased if one or more of these risk factors are present. With rapid changes in urbanization, industrialization, and lifestyle, the morbidities related to being overweight, obese, hypertensive, dyslipidaemic, or diabetic all present an accelerated trend in the Chinese population. This increase in the presence of CVD is likely to further accelerate, ultimately increasing the medical burden of Chinese patients. Recent data suggests that the prevalence of diabetes in adults aged 20 or older has risen to an alarming 9.7% in China. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the other risk factors involved in this progression as well as to establish reasonable prevention strategies to attenuate this rapid rise in morbidity related to CVD. However, no large-scale national representative epidemiological data are available to analyse the prevalence of these cardiovascular risk factors within the last 10 years in China. The 2007–08 China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study includes these data and remains the latest nationwide cross-sectional survey. Based on this survey database, we analysed the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and non-fatal CVDs in the Chinese population, compared the family background and traditional risk factors of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, and provided evidence for high-risk populations to further control CVDs.

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