Atherosclerotic vascular disease and risk factors in Turkey: from past to present

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2008 Dec;15(6):286-91. doi: 10.5551/jat.e614. Epub 2008 Dec 9.


The prevalence of atherosclerotic vascular disease is unexpectedly high in Turkey despite its young population, with a median age of 29. The mean total cholesterol is lower than in Western European countries; however, smoking is very prevalent, the incidence of metabolic syndrome high and obesity, diabetes and hypertension are becoming a major problem, especially in women. Having these risk factors as well as lower HDL levels leads to high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality at younger ages. This problem is expected to become worse with increasing industrialisation, adaptation to Western diets, a sedentary lifestyle and increasing obesity. A National Heart Health Policy has been developed to overcome this epidemic and combat the risk factors and reduce the burden of atherosclerotic vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Atherosclerosis / ethnology
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Turkey
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Vascular Diseases / ethnology


  • Cholesterol