Cardiovascular risk factors in a rural area, Erbil, Iraq: A cross-sectional study


Background: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in many countriess.Objectives: The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among rural population in Erbil governorate, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Materials & Methods: A house-hold survey was carried out on adults aged 20 years and above in Gazna village in Erbil governorate. The survey extended from 3rd October through 3rd December 2009. Every other house was chosen to conduct the study, adults 20 years old and above was examined for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, overweight and obesity and cigarette smoking.Results: In current study 359 participants were participated; 149 (41.6%) males and 210 (58.4%) females, the mean ± SD ages of males and females were 38.53 ± 14.59 and 34.92 ± 14.96 years, respectively. About 14.8% of males and 5.2% of females were smokers. Furthermore, the prevalence of hypertension was 12.3% and it was higher among females (14.3%) than that among males (9.4%) (P=0.164). However, the prevalence of diabetes and obesity (13.4% and 30.9%, respectively) were significantly higher among females (16.7% and 38.1%) than among males (8.7% and 20.8%) (P˂0.05).Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in this rural population that necessitates public health programs to be planned to curtail them. A national prevention program should be implemented as soon as possible to prevent the expected epidemics of CVD. Measures are needed to change the lifestyle to address the management of the metabolic syndromes and to reduce modifiable risk factors for CVD.