Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2006;59:1099-105 - Vol. 59 Num.11 DOI: 10.1016/S1885-5857(07)60058-9

High Prevalence of Classic Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Population of University Students From South Central Chile

Iván F Palomo a, Gaby I Torres b, Marcelo A Alarcón a, Patricio J Maragaño c, Elba Leiva a, Verónica Mujica d

a Departamento de Bioquímica Clínica e Inmunohematología, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Talca, Chile.
b Servicio de Salud, Vicerrectoría de Asuntos Estudiantiles, Universidad de Talca, Chile.
c Unidad de Cardiología, Servicio de Medicina, Hospital Regional de Talca, Chile.
d Servicio de Medicina, Hospital Regional de Talca, Chile.

Keywords

Cardiovascular risk factors. Blood pressure. Cholesterol. Waist diameter. Glycemia. Metabolic syndrome.

Abstract

Introduction and objectives. Cardiovascular disease is the principle cause of death worldwide. Such disease can be prevented by controlling cardiovascular risk factors. Methods. The study involved 783 students aged between 18 and 26 years from the University of Talca (Region VII, Maule, Chile), which corresponds to 14.9% of all students. Their demographic characteristics, familial cardiovascular disease history, weight, height, arterial pressure, and waist diameter were recorded, and their lipid and blood glucose levels were measured. Results. Overall, 12.8% of students had some degree of arterial hypertension, which was more severe in men than in women (P<.0001). In addition, 45.5% of the men and 24.3% of the women were overweight or obese. Some 39.8% of students admitted being smokers and 91.5% did not participate in any significant physical activity. Hypercholesterolemia (≥200 mg/dL) was present in 20.2% of students and around 1.0% had the metabolic syndrome. Conclusions. The prevalence of the main cardiovascular risk factors was found to be high in the study population. It may be necessary to carry out regular publicity campaigns that focus on improving lifestyle to decrease the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in young people in whom morbidity and mortality is still low.

1885-5857/© 2006 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved

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