Objective: To establish a surveillance network for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk factors in industrial settings and estimate the risk factor burden using standardized tools.
Methods: We conducted a baseline cross-sectional survey (as part of a CVD surveillance programme) of industrial populations from 10 companies across India, situated in close proximity to medical colleges that served as study centres. The study subjects were employees (selected by age and sex stratified random sampling) and their family members. Information on behavioural, clinical and biochemical determinants was obtained through standardized methods (questionnaires, clinical measurements and biochemical analysis). Data collation and analyses were done at the national coordinating centre.
Findings: We report the prevalence of CVD risk factors among individuals aged 20-69 years (n = 19 973 for the questionnaire survey, n = 10 442 for biochemical investigations); mean age was 40 years. The overall prevalence of most risk factors was high, with 50.9% of men and 51.9% of women being overweight, central obesity was observed among 30.9% of men and 32.8% of women, and 40.2% of men and 14.9% of women reported current tobacco use. Self-reported prevalence of diabetes (5.3%) and hypertension (10.9%) was lower than when measured clinically and biochemically (10.1% and 27.7%, respectively). There was marked heterogeneity in the prevalence of risk factors among the study centres.
Conclusion: There is a high burden of CVD risk factors among industrial populations across India. The surveillance system can be used as a model for replication in India as well as other developing countries.