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Open Access Study protocol

Nutrition, environment and cardiovascular health (NESCAV): protocol of an inter-regional cross-sectional study

Ala'a Alkerwi12*, Michèle Guillaume2, Faiez Zannad3, Ulrich Laufs4, Marie-Lise Lair1 and the NESCAV project group

Author Affiliations

1 Centre de Recherche Public Santé, Centre d'Etudes en Santé, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

2 School of Public Health, University of Liège, Belgium

3 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Hypertension Unit, Département des maladies cardiovasculaires, Nancy, France

4 University of Saarland, Germany

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:698  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-698

Published: 15 November 2010



Despite the remarkable technological progress in health care and treatment, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of premature death, prolonged hospitalization and disability in most European countries. In the population of the Greater Region (Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, Wallonia in Belgium, and Lorraine in France), the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and disease is among the highest in Europe, warranting the need for a better understanding of factors contributing to this pattern. In this context, the cross-border "Nutrition, Environment and Cardiovascular Health-NESCAV" project is initiated by an inter-regional multi-disciplinary consortium and supported by the INTERREG IV A program "Greater Region", 2007-2013, to fight synergically and harmoniously against this major public health problem.


The objectives of the three-year planned project are to assess, in a representative sample of 3000 randomly selected individuals living at the Greater Region, 1) the cardiovascular health and risk profile, 2) the association between the dietary habits and the cardiovascular risk, 3) the association of occupational and environmental pollution markers with the cardiovascular risk, 4) the knowledge, awareness and level of control of cardiovascular risk factors, 5) the potential gaps in the current primary prevention, and finally, to address evidence-based recommendations enabling the development of inter-regional guidance to help policy-makers and health care workers for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.


The findings will provide tools that may enable the Greater Region's decision-makers and health professionals to implement targeted and cost-effective prevention strategies.