Background: People living in the northeastern part of Japan have high prevalences of hypertension and stroke. The current status of cardiovascular risk factors in them should be elucidated.
Methods: The survey was carried out from 2002 to 2004 in the northeastern part of the main island of Japan. A total of 26,472 Japanese men and women were enrolled (acceptance rate: 84.5%). Sex- and age-specific prevalences of cardiovascular risk factors were determined. Mean values of predictive markers (high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and microalbuminuria) were also determined in each group. Risk factor-related variables in non-hypertensive subjects and hypertensive subjects were compared.
Results: Proportions of subjects with hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia were 46.0%, 7.6%, and 30.3%, respectively, in males and 38.6%, 4.0%, and 38.5%, respectively, in females. Mean values of hsCRP and BNP were 1.41 mg/L and 26.5 pg/mL, respectively, in males and 1.01 mg/L and 23.7 pg/mL, respectively, in females. Proportions of male and female subjects with microalbuminuria were 22.0% and 23.4%, respectively. These markers become higher with advance of age. Prevalence of atrial fibrillation was 1.56%, and it increased with advance of age in both men and women. High prevalences of cardiovascular risk factors in this area were found. Hypertensive subjects who did not take anti-hypertension medication accounted for about 20% of total subjects and their blood pressure remained poorly controlled.
Conclusion: Attention should be given to cardiovascular risk factors in the Japanese northeastern rural population.