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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Younger age of escalation of cardiovascular risk factors in Asian Indian subjects

Rajeev Gupta1*, Anoop Misra2, Naval K Vikram3, Dimple Kondal3, Shaon Sen Gupta3, Aachu Agrawal5 and RM Pandey4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur 302017, India

2 Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Fortis Rajan Dhall Hospital, New Delhi 110055, India

3 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India

4 Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India

5 Department of Home Science, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur 302004, India

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2009, 9:28  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-28

Published: 5 July 2009

Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular risk factors start early, track through the young age and manifest in middle age in most societies. We conducted epidemiological studies to determine prevalence and age-specific trends in cardiovascular risk factors among adolescent and young urban Asian Indians.

Methods

Population based epidemiological studies to identify cardiovascular risk factors were performed in North India in 1999–2002. We evaluated major risk factors-smoking or tobacco use, obesity, truncal obesity, hypertension, dysglycemia and dyslipidemia using pre-specified definitions in 2051 subjects (male 1009, female 1042) aged 15–39 years of age. Age-stratified analyses were performed and significance of trends determined using regression analyses for numerical variables and Χ2 test for trend for categorical variables. Logistic regression was used to identify univariate and multivariate odds ratios (OR) for correlation of age and risk factors.

Results

In males and females respectively, smoking or tobacco use was observed in 200 (11.8%) and 18 (1.4%), overweight or obesity (body mass index, BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2) in 12.4% and 14.3%, high waist-hip ratio, WHR (males > 0.9, females > 0.8) in 15% and 32.3%, hypertension in 5.6% and 3.1%, high LDL cholesterol (≥ 130 mg/dl) in 9.4% and 8.9%, low HDL cholesterol (<40 mg/dl males, <50 mg/dl females) in 16.2% and 49.7%, hypertriglyceridemia (≥ 150 mg/dl) in 9.7% and 6%, diabetes in 1.0% and 0.4% and the metabolic syndrome in 3.4% and 3.6%. Significantly increasing trends with age for indices of obesity (BMI, waist, WHR), glycemia (fasting glucose, metabolic syndrome) and lipids (cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol) were observed (p for trend < 0.01). At age 15–19 years the prevalence (%) of risk factors in males and females, respectively, was overweight/obesity in 7.6, 8.8; high WHR 4.9, 14.4; hypertension 2.3, 0.3; high LDL cholesterol 2.4, 3.2; high triglycerides 3.0, 3.2; low HDL cholesterol 8.0, 45.3; high total:HDL ratio 3.7, 4.7, diabetes 0.0 and metabolic syndrome in 0.0, 0.2 percent. At age groups 20–29 years in males and females, ORs were, for smoking 5.3, 1.0; obesity 1.6, 0.8; truncal obesity 4.5, 3.1; hypertension 2.6, 4.8; high LDL cholesterol 6.4, 1.8; high triglycerides 3.7, 0.9; low HDL cholesterol 2.4, 0.8; high total:HDL cholesterol 1.6, 1.0; diabetes 4.0, 1.0; and metabolic syndrome 37.7, 5.7 (p < 0.05 for some). At age 30–39, ORs were- smoking 16.0, 6.3; overweight 7.1, 11.3; truncal obesity 21.1, 17.2; hypertension 13.0, 64.0; high LDL cholesterol 27.4, 19.5; high triglycerides 24.2, 10.0; low HDL cholesterol 15.8, 14.1; high total:HDL cholesterol 37.9, 6.10; diabetes 50.7, 17.4; and metabolic syndrome 168.5, 146.2 (p < 0.01 for all parameters). Multivariate adjustment for BMI, waist size and WHR in men and women aged 30–39 years resulted in attenuation of ORs for hypertension and dyslipidemias.

Conclusion

Low prevalence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemias, diabetes and metabolic syndrome) in adolescents and rapid escalation of these risk factors by age of 30–39 years is noted in urban Asian Indians. Interventions should focus on these individuals.