Background: Strategies for preventing premature cardiovascular disease include measures to control its risk factors. To plan such activities, prevalence of these factors must be known. Data regarding risk factor prevalence is limited in Bangladesh and measurement of biochemical factors is not always feasible. The aim of our study is to describe the non-biochemical risk factors in a clinic-based rural population of Bangladesh that would reflect at least a part of the problem in the rural area.
Methods: A cross sectional study was done in a clinic based patient population aged 20 years and older (471 males and 800 females) in a rural community of Bangladesh. A questionnaire on lifestyle including dietary and smoking habit was administered and physical examinations including height, weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure were measured in standardized way.
Results: Mean body mass index was 18.5 kg/m2 (standard deviation [SD]: 2.9 kg/m2) in males and 18.7 kg/m2 (SD: 3.3 kg/m2) in females. Mean systolic blood pressure was 120.0 mmHg (SD: 18.5 mmHg) and mean diastolic blood pressure 77.2 mmHg (SD: 9.9 mmHg) in all subjects. The prevalence of hypertension (140+/90+ mmHg and/or on treatment) was 17.8%. Prevalence of tobacco consumption (smoking and chewing) was 43.8% in males and 27.1 in females. Prevalence of abdominal obesity (waist circumference >94 cm in males, >80 cm in females) was 1.6 % and 11.4 % for males and females respectively. Proportion of overweight (BMI 25.0+) was 3.6%.
Conclusion: Prevention programs and measures should be emphasized for the control of tobacco and hypertension in general, and central obesity in females, as far as rural population of Bangladesh is concerned.