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Awareness and treatment of cardiovascular disease risk factors among middle-aged Swedish men and women

, : Awareness and treatment of cardiovascular disease risk factors among middle-aged Swedish men and women. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care 16(3): 165-170

To study awareness and treatment of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in a primary care district where a screening program for hypercholesterolaemia involving one third of the population had been conducted 7 years earlier. A semi-structured telephone survey on four risk factors; blood pressure, serum cholesterol, blood sugar, and smoking habits. The study was performed in a defined area in Blekinge county in Sweden. A random sample of the general population aged 40-49 years, in total 356 people. Awareness of individual risk factors, for cardiovascular diseases, on-going medication, and lifestyle changes in order to lower individual risks. A total of 95% had had their blood pressure measured at least once, compared with 69% for serum cholesterol. Twenty-two per cent had at some time been told that they had high blood pressure, and, of these, almost half (44%) received pharmacological treatment. Among the 62 subjects who were informed about hyperlipidaemia only 5% were taking a lipid-reducing drug. Among present smokers, 38% had had at least one quitting episode during the previous 2 years with a median duration of 60 days. In a general population there is a difference between blood pressure and cholesterol check-up and medicalization. Screening activities seem to raise the awareness of cardiovascular risk factors in a population, but when evaluating the tendency to change lifestyle the contagious effects of screening activities might be taken into account. Finding quick-relapsing former smokers among current non-smokers may be of importance when planning smoking cessation activities.


PMID: 9800230

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