Association of suboptimal health status and cardiovascular risk factors in urban Chinese workers

J Urban Health. 2012 Apr;89(2):329-38. doi: 10.1007/s11524-011-9636-8.


Suboptimal health status (SHS) has become a new public health challenge in urban China. Despite indications that SHS may be associated with progression or development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, there are few reports on SHS investigations. To explore the relationship between SHS and traditional cardiovascular risk factors, a cross-sectional study was conducted in a sample of 4,881 workers employed in 21 companies in urban Beijing. Blood pressure, glucose, lipid levels (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol and triglycerides), cortisol, and body mass index were measured. SHS score was derived from data collection in the SHS questionnaire (SHSQ-25). Univariate analysis and linear two-level model were used to analyze the association of SHS with the cardiovascular risk factors. Serum cortisol level was much higher among the SHS high-score group than that among the low SHS score group (204.31 versus 161.33 ng/ml, P < 0.001). In a linear two-level model, we found correlation between SHS and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, plasma glucose, total cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol among men, and correlation between SHS and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and HDL cholesterol among women after controlling for age, education background, occupation, smoking, and physical activity. SHS is associated with cardiovascular risk factors and contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease. SHS should be recognized in the health care system, especially in primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Triglycerides / blood*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Hydrocortisone