Background: Industrial settings, with their intramural resources and healthcare infrastructure, are ideal for initiating preventive activities to increase the awareness and control of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). However, there are no reliable estimates of CVD and risk factor burden, nor of its awareness and treatment status in urban Indian industrial settings. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of CVD and its risk factors, and to assess the status of awareness and control of CVD risk factors among a large industrial population of northern India.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among all employees aged 20-59 years of a large industry near Delhi (n=2935), to evaluate their cardiovascular risk profile--by employing a structured questionnaire and clinical and biochemical estimations. The presence of coronary heart disease was ascertained by evidence of its treatment, Rose angina questionnaire and Minnesota coded electrocardiograms.
Results: The results for 2122 men, in whom complete information was available, are reported here. The mean age was 42 years and 90% of the men were below 50 years of age. The prevalence of major CVD risk factors (95% CI) was: hypertension 30% (28%-32%), diabetes 15% (14%-17%), high serum total cholesterol/HDL ratio (> or = 4.5) 62% (60%-64%) and current smoking 36% (34%-38%). Forty-seven per cent of the respondents had at least two of these risk factors. Another 44% (95% CI: 42%-46%) had pre-hypertension (INC VII criteria) and 37% (95% CI: 35%-39%) had evidence of either impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance. Thirty-five per cent (95% CI: 33%-37%) of the individuals were overweight (BMI > or = 25 kg/m2) while 43% (95% CI: 40%-45%) had central obesity (waist circumference >90 cm). The metabolic syndrome was present in 28%-35% of the individuals depending on the diagnostic criteria used. The prevalence of several risk factors and the metabolic syndrome was high with increasing age, BMI and waist circumference. A third of those who had hypertension (31.5%) and diabetes (31%) were aware of their status. Among those aware, adequate control of blood pressure and blood glucose was present in only 38% of those with hypertension and 31% of those with diabetes, respectively. Coronary heart disease was present in 7.3% of the individuals while 0.3% had a history of stroke.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the high prevalence of CVD and its risk factors against a background of poor awareness and control among a comparatively young male population in a north Indian industrial setting.