Background: Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) has high cardiovascular disease mortality as other countries in Eastern Europe and situation has even deteriorated in the post war period. Reliable information on risk factor levels and patterns needed in prevention planning and disease management has been lacking.
Methods: A cross sectional population survey was conducted in the FBiH in autumn 2002. A random sample of population, aged 25-64 years, was taken using a three stage stratified sampling methodology. Altogether, 2750 persons participated in the survey (1121 men and 1629 women). The survey was done according to internationally established standards and protocols.
Results: The mean systolic blood pressure was 132 mmHg among men and 135 mmHg among women. The mean diastolic blood pressure was 84 mmHg in both genders. Almost 40% of the participants were recognized as hypertensive (blood pressure level over 140/90 mmHg). The prevalence of hypertension among men was 36% and among women 45%. The mean Body Mass Index (BMI) was 26.5 kg/m(2) among males and 27.0 kg/m(2) among females. About 75% of both men and women were overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m(2)) and 16% of men and 20% of women were obese (BMI > 30 kg/m(2)). About 50% of men and 30% of women reported to be daily smokers.
Conclusions: As a whole the non-communicable disease risk factor levels in the FBiH seems to be relatively high. The data can be utilized in health promotion planning and as a baseline for future monitoring activities with possibility of international comparison of results.