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Open Access Research article

Regional differences in self-reported screening, prevalence and management of cardiovascular risk factors in Switzerland

Pedro Marques-Vidal* and Fred Paccaud

Author Affiliations

Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Route de la Corniche 2, 1066 Epalinges, Switzerland

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:246  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-246

Published: 28 March 2012

Abstract

Background

In Switzerland, health policies are decided at the local level, but little is known regarding their impact on the screening and management of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs). We thus aimed at assessing geographical levels of CVRFs in Switzerland.

Methods

Swiss Health Survey for 2007 (N = 17,879). Seven administrative regions were defined: West (Leman), West-Central (Mittelland), Zurich, South (Ticino), North-West, East and Central Switzerland. Obesity, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes prevalence, treatment and screening within the last 12 months were assessed by interview.

Results

After multivariate adjustment for age, gender, educational level, marital status and Swiss citizenship, no significant differences were found between regions regarding prevalence of obesity or current smoking. Similarly, no differences were found regarding hypertension screening and prevalence. Two thirds of subjects who had been told they had high blood pressure were treated, the lowest treatment rates being found in East Switzerland: odds-ratio and [95% confidence interval] 0.65 [0.50-0.85]. Screening for hypercholesterolemia was more frequently reported in French (Leman) and Italian (Ticino) speaking regions. Four out of ten participants who had been told they had high cholesterol levels were treated and the lowest treatment rates were found in German-speaking regions. Screening for diabetes was higher in Ticino (1.24 [1.09 - 1.42]). Six out of ten participants who had been told they had diabetes were treated, the lowest treatment rates were found for German-speaking regions.

Conclusions

In Switzerland, cardiovascular risk factor screening and management differ between regions and these differences cannot be accounted for by differences in populations' characteristics. Management of most cardiovascular risk factors could be improved.

Keywords:
Geographical differences; Diabetes; Dyslipidemia; Hypertension; Smoking; Obesity; Switzerland