Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in the Republic of Georgia

J Hum Hypertens. 1999 Apr;13(4):243-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1000795.


Background: Eastern Europe is experiencing an epidemic of deaths from cardiovascular diseases with an increase since the early 1990s approaching 50%. The ability to survey the risk factors associated with this striking rise is severely hampered by the current disarray of the area's public health system. We used a rapid survey method to describe the epidemiology of cardiovascular risk in the capital of the Republic of Georgia, Tbilisi.

Methods: A two-stage cluster design, 'rapid survey method' developed by the Chronic Disease Center was used to estimate the frequency of hypertension, a major cardiovascular risk factor. Local personnel were trained and certified in blood pressure measurement and rapid survey techniques. The training and survey were conducted over a period of 14 days at which time a preliminary report of the survey was presented to the Ministry of Health.

Results: A total of 321 subjects were surveyed. The frequency of high blood pressure (>140/>90 mm Hg) at the time of the examination was 58% in men and 56% in women. The major correlates for blood pressure were gender and age. In addition we found that 31% of the population had a total cholesterol > or =220 mg% and a similar number had a low high density lipoprotein < or =35 mg%. Smoking was present in 60% of men and none were taking aspirin daily to prevent premature coronary artery disease.

Conclusions: The rapid survey method is feasible in the former Soviet Union and can quickly provide estimates of the risk factors associated with the epidemic of cardiovascular disease in this area.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Georgia (Republic) / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors