Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the main cardiovascular risk factors in Morocco and their distribution according to age, sex and residential area.
Methods: The study was conducted during the year 2000 on a Moroccan representative sample aged 20 years and over, considering the population distribution between urban and rural areas. The crude results were weighted according to the Moroccan population distribution by age and sex. In order to allow comparison with data from other countries, means and prevalence were standardized according to world population distribution by age.
Results: The participation rate was 90.1%. The prevalence of hypertension was 33.6% (30.2% for men and 37.0% for women). The means of systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 129.8 and 76.0 mmHg, respectively. The prevalence of diabetes was 6.6% and was similar for males and females. The prevalence of hypercholesterolaemia was 29.0%, and was higher in females. The means and prevalence of diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia were higher in urban areas. The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolaemia increased with age. The prevalence of obesity was markedly higher in females and in urban areas. The average body mass index was 23.8 and 25.6 kg/m2 in males and females, respectively. Thirty-four per cent of men smoked cigarettes, but women rarely smoked cigarettes (0.6%).
Conclusions: The prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors was high in Morocco and it is necessary to increase action against the cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors.