Cardiovascular risk factors emerging in Chinese populations undergoing urbanization

Hypertens Res. 1999 Sep;22(3):209-15. doi: 10.1291/hypres.22.209.


In this assessment of cardiovascular risk factors, we examined the association between dietary habits and blood pressure (BP) according to the World Health Organization (WHO) CARDIAC Study protocols in three Chinese populations aged 47-57 in Guangzhou prefecture (GZ group; 141 males, 158 females), Guiyang prefecture (GY group; 101 males, 103 females) and Taiwan (TW group; 102 males, 98 females). The same survey was repeated 10 yr later in the GY group to follow-up the past trends (MONALISA study). The observed systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), and body mass index (BMI), as well as the rates of hypertension, obesity and antihypertensive medication use were significantly higher in both genders in the TW group compared to the groups GZ and GY. There was no significant difference in SBP or DBP in either gender between groups GZ and GY. Blood analyses revealed that the levels of serum total cholesterol (T-CHO), and HbA1c, and the rates of hypercholesterolemia and high HbA1c were significantly higher in both genders in the TW than in the GZ and GY groups. No significant difference among the populations was observed in 24-h urinary sodium or magnesium excretion in either gender. In the combined total populations of men and women, however, significant positive correlations were observed between BMI and each of SBP, DBP, T-CHO, and glycohemoglobin in both genders. A food frequency analysis revealed significantly greater meat consumption and significantly less tea consumption and vegetable intake in the TW than in the GY and GZ groups. Both SBP and DBP have increased significantly over the past 10 yr in the GY group in both genders, and T-CHO as well as the rate of hypercholesterolemia increased over the same period in both genders. In conclusion, cardiovascular risk factors leading to hypertension, such as obesity, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes mellitus, are emerging in urbanized Taiwan and developing Guiyang due to the loss of traditional dietary habits.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Urbanization