Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of lifestyle-related cardiovascular risk factors in the adult population of Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru.
Methods: The prevalence and patterns of smoking, alcohol drinking, lack of physical activity, high-fat diet, and low fruit and vegetable intake were evaluated among 1 878 subjects (867 men and 1 011 women) in a population-based study.
Results: The age-standardized prevalence of current smoking, former smoking, and never smoking were 21.6%, 14.3%, and 64.1%, respectively. The prevalence of current smoking was significantly higher in men than women (31.1% vs. 12.1%; P < 0.01). The prevalence of current alcohol use was 37.7% and significantly higher in men than women (55.5% vs. 19.7%; P < 0.01). Similarly, the prevalence of binge drinking was 21.2%, and the percentage of men who binge drink (36.1%) was significantly higher than for women (6.4%; P < 0.01). The vast majority of alcohol drinkers reported a pattern of alcohol consumption mainly on weekends and holidays rather than regular drinking with meals during the week. The proportion of insufficiently active people was 57.6% and was significantly higher in women than men (63.3% vs. 51.9%; P < 0.01). Overall, 42.0% of adults reported consuming high-fat diets, 34.5% reported low fruit intake, and 33.3% reported low vegetable intake.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of lifestyle-related cardiovascular risk factors found in this Andean population is of concern. Preventive programs are urgently needed to deal with this growing problem.