Time trends of major coronary risk factors in a northern Italian population (1986-1994). How remarkable are socioeconomic differences in an industrialized low CHD incidence country?

Marco Ferrario, Roberto Sega, Liliana Chatenoud, Giuseppe Mancia, Paolo Mocarelli, Carla Crespi, Giancarlo Cesana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The goals are to estimate time trends (1986-1994) of major coronary risk factors in an industrialized low CHD incidence population and to assess education class (EC) differences in risk factor prevalence and in time trends. Methods. Three population surveys were conducted in 1986-1987, 1989-1990 and 1993-1994 on independent and two-stage age- and gender-stratified random samples (1906 men and 1941 women) of 35-64 year old residents of Brianza, an affluent region of northern Italy. The protocol for data collection, clinical measurements and biochemical determinations adhered to the WHO MONICA manual and underwent repeated quality control assessments. EC were identified according to gender- and 5-year birth-cohort specific tertiles. Results. In the initial, middle and final surveys 1258, 1259 and 1330 subjects were enrolled, corresponding to participation rates of 70.1%, 70.3% and 74.3%, respectively. Over the 8-year period, in men systolic blood pressure and smoking habits declined, body mass index and serum total cholesterol increased. In women systolic blood pressure showed a constant reduction, total cholesterol and BMI increased and the prevalence of smokers remained stable. Overall inverse associations with EC were found for body mass index, for prevalence of cigarette smokers in men and for systolic blood pressure in women. Decreases in blood pressure were more evident in the lowest EC. Cigarette smoking was on the decline in the higher EC in men. BMI and total cholesterol increased in all EC with the notable exception of the 'low' EC in women. Conclusions. Favourable changes of the risk factor profile in the low socio-economic classes may have contributed to reduce CHD rates in this population. Specific policies oriented to lowest socio-economic classes are needed to continue to combat the smoking epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Volume30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Coronary risk factors
  • Italy
  • Socio-economic status
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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