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Logo of bmcphBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Public Health
BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 254.
Published online 2012 April 2. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-254
PMCID: PMC3414744

Individual-based primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in Cambodia and Mongolia: early identification and management of hypertension and diabetes mellitus



To assess the coverage of individual-based primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Cambodia and Mongolia: specifically the early identification of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, major proximate physiological CVD risk factors, and management with pharmaceutical and lifestyle advice interventions.


Analysis of data collected in national cross-sectional STEPS surveys in 2009 (Mongolia) and 2010 (Cambodia) involving participants aged 25-64 years: 5433 in Cambodia and 4539 in Mongolia.


Mongolia has higher prevalence of CVD risk factors than Cambodia --hypertension (36.5% versus 12.3%), diabetes (6.3% versus 3.1%), hypercholesterolemia (8.5% versus 3.2%), and overweight (52.5% versus 15.5%). The difference in tobacco smoking was less notable (32.1% versus 29.4%).

Coverage with prior testing for blood glucose in the priority age group 35-64 years remains limited (16.5% in Cambodia and 21.7% in Mongolia). Coverage is higher for hypertension. A large burden of both hypertension and diabetes remains unidentified at current strategies for early identification: only 45.4% (Cambodia) to 65.8% (Mongolia) of all hypertensives and 22.8% (Mongolia) to 50.3% (Cambodia) of all diabetics in the age group 35-64 years had been previously diagnosed.

Approximately half of all hypertensives and of all diabetics in both countries were untreated. 7.2% and 12.2% of total hypertensive population and 5.9% and 16.1% of total diabetic population in Cambodia and Mongolia, respectively, were untreated despite being previously diagnosed.

Only 24.1% and 28.6% of all hypertensives and 15.9% and 23.9% of all diabetics in Mongolia and Cambodia, respectively were adequately controlled. Estimates suggest deficits in delivery of important advice for lifestyle interventions.


Multifaceted strategies are required to improve early identification, initiation of treatment and improving quality of treatment for common CVD risk factors. Periodic population-based surveys including questions on medical and treatment history and the context of testing and treatment can facilitate monitoring of individual-based prevention strategies.

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