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Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic level among public-sector workers in Angola

Daniel P Capingana1, Pedro Magalhães1, Amílcar BT Silva1, Mauer AA Gonçalves2, Marcelo P Baldo1, Sérgio L Rodrigues1, Cristóvão CF Simões2, Albano VL Ferreira2 and José G Mill1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Espírito Santo, Brazil

2 Department of Physiological Sciences, Medical School of the Agostinho Neto University, Luanda, Angola

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:732  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-732

Published: 7 August 2013



Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the majority of developed and developing countries. African countries are currently facing an increase in both cardiovascular and transmitted diseases. In addition, cardiovascular risk varies among different socioeconomic groups. Thus, we determined the prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in apparently healthy public-sector workers and investigated possible relationships with socioeconomic status.


We employed a cross-sectional study comprising 42.2% (n = 615) of the public-sector workers at Agostinho Neto University, 48% (n = 294) male and 52% (n= 321) female, with ages between 20 and 72 years and from various socioeconomic groups. The study was conducted from February 2009 to December 2010. Personal, anthropometric, biochemical, hemodynamic, socioeconomic, and physical activity data were collected.


The prevalence rates of cardiovascular risk factors were as follows: hypertension, 45.2% (men 46.3%, women 44.2%, P > 0.05); hypercholesterolemia, 11.1% (men 10.5%, women 11.5%, P > 0.05); low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, 50.1% (men 36.9%, women 62.3%; P < 0.05); hypertriglyceridemia, 10.6% (men 12.6%, women 8.7%, P > 0.05); smoking, 7.2% (men 10.2%, women 4.4%; P < 0.05); diabetes, 5.7% (men 5.5%, women 5.9%, P > 0.05); overweight, 29.3% (men 27.3%, women 31.2%, P > 0.05); obesity, 19.6% (men 9.2%, women 29.0%; P < 0.05); sedentary lifestyle, 87.2% (men 83.0%, women 91,0%, P < 0.05); and left ventricular hypertrophy, 20% (men 32.0%, women 9.0%; P < 0.05). At least one risk factor was present in 27.7% of the sample; 15.2% had two risk factors, and 31.4% had three or more risk factors. Among the individuals with low socioeconomic status, 41.0% had three or more risk factors.


The results of this study suggest the existence of a high prevalence of multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease in apparently healthy public-sector workers in Angola. The workers in lower socioeconomic groups had higher incidences of hypertension, smoking, and left ventricular hypertrophy.

Cardiovascular risk factors; Socioeconomic status; Angola