Prevalence of a Healthy Lifestyle Among Individuals With Cardiovascular Disease in High-, Middle- And Low-Income Countries: The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study

JAMA. 2013 Apr 17;309(15):1613-21. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.3519.

Abstract

Importance: Little is known about adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors among individuals with a coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke event in communities across a range of countries worldwide.

Objective: To examine the prevalence of avoidance or cessation of smoking, eating a healthy diet, and undertaking regular physical activities by individuals with a CHD or stroke event.

Design, setting, and participants: Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) was a large, prospective cohort study that used an epidemiological survey of 153,996 adults, aged 35 to 70 years, from 628 urban and rural communities in 3 high-income countries (HIC), 7 upper-middle-income countries (UMIC), 3 lower-middle-income countries (LMIC), and 4 low-income countries (LIC), who were enrolled between January 2003 and December 2009.

Main outcome measures: Smoking status (current, former, never), level of exercise (low, <600 metabolic equivalent task [MET]-min/wk; moderate, 600-3000 MET-min/wk; high, >3000 MET-min/wk), and diet (classified by the Food Frequency Questionnaire and defined using the Alternative Healthy Eating Index).

Results: Among 7519 individuals with self-reported CHD (past event: median, 5.0 [interquartile range {IQR}, 2.0-10.0] years ago) or stroke (past event: median, 4.0 [IQR, 2.0-8.0] years ago), 18.5% (95% CI, 17.6%-19.4%) continued to smoke; only 35.1% (95% CI, 29.6%-41.0%) undertook high levels of work- or leisure-related physical activity, and 39.0% (95% CI, 30.0%-48.7%) had healthy diets; 14.3% (95% CI, 11.7%-17.3%) did not undertake any of the 3 healthy lifestyle behaviors and 4.3% (95% CI, 3.1%-5.8%) had all 3. Overall, 52.5% (95% CI, 50.7%-54.3%) quit smoking (by income country classification: 74.9% [95% CI, 71.1%-78.6%] in HIC; 56.5% [95% CI, 53.4%-58.6%] in UMIC; 42.6% [95% CI, 39.6%-45.6%] in LMIC; and 38.1% [95% CI, 33.1%-43.2%] in LIC). Levels of physical activity increased with increasing country income but this trend was not statistically significant. The lowest prevalence of eating healthy diets was in LIC (25.8%; 95% CI, 13.0%-44.8%) compared with LMIC (43.2%; 95% CI, 30.0%-57.4%), UMIC (45.1%, 95% CI, 30.9%-60.1%), and HIC (43.4%, 95% CI, 21.0%-68.7%).

Conclusion and relevance: Among a sample of patients with a CHD or stroke event from countries with varying income levels, the prevalence of healthy lifestyle behaviors was low, with even lower levels in poorer countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Urban Population