Cardiovascular risk factors in Tanzania: a revisit
Authors: M Njelekela, H Negishi, Y Nara, M Tomohiro, et al.
Reference: Acta Tropica 2001; 79: 231-239, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0001-706x(01)00134-6
Summarized by: Juan Ramos, Program Coordinator, ProCor
A 1998 study of 942 Tanzanian adults aged 47-57 years suggests that for the past decade there has been an increase in the mean levels and prevalence of CVD risk factors in Tanzania. Dietary changes associated with urbanization (e.g., an increase in consumption of saturated fats and a reduction in vegetable intake) have contributed to an increase in body weight and blood pressure.
The study examined the prevalence of selected risk factors according to the World Health Organization CARDIAC Study protocol and compared them with a similar study conducted in 1987. The study was carried out in Dar es Salaam (urban area), Handeni (rural area), and Monduli (semi-nomadic area).
Weight, BMI, and obesity prevalence increased significantly among women in rural Handeni and urban Dar es Salaam in the 1987-1998 period. Overall obesity prevalence for women was 22.8% in 1998. Men in all three population areas did not show any difference in obesity prevalence between the two studies.
Prevalence of hypertension or anti-hypertensive drug use increased from 25.4% to 41.1% for men and from 27.2% to 38.7% for women between 1987 and 1998.
Prevalence of high cholesterol was 21.8% for men and 54% for women in 1998, with a particularly marked increase for men from the semi-nomadic area. HDL cholesterol increased significantly for both semi-nomadic men and women.
Salt intake and calcium levels showed a declining trend in all three areas in 1987-1998. Sodium-potassium ratio did not show any marked differences in the three populations.
BMI was correlated to systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both men and women. Total cholesterol correlated positively to systolic and diastolic BP. A strong positive correlation between blood pressure and sodium-potassium ratio was observed in men, while for women sodium-potassium ratio was correlated to systolic BP alone. BMI was positively correlated to total cholesterol in both men and women.
Increased BMI was associated with increased meat, fish, or coconut milk consumption. Frequency of intake of meat, fish, and coconut milk was significantly higher in the urban area than the rural or semi-nomadic areas.