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1.  The impact of obesity on hypertension and diabetes control following healthy Lifestyle Intervention Program in a developing country setting 
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of obesity and overweight on diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) control in a healthy lifestyle intervention program in Iran.
Within the framework of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a community trial that was conducted to prevent and control cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, two intervention counties (Isfahan and Najafabad) and one reference county (Arak) were selected. Demographic information, medical history, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive medications use were asked by trained interviewers in addition to physical examination and laboratory tests for 12514 adults aged more than 19 years in 2001 and were repeated for 9572 adults in 2007.
In women, the frequency of HTN control change significantly neither in normal weight nor in those with high body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) or waist to hip ratio (WHR). In men, the frequency of HTN control was only significant among those with high WHR, whereas the interaction between changes in intervention compared to reference area from 2001 to 2007 was significant in men with normal or high WC or WHR. In intervention area, the number of women with high BMI who controlled their DM increased significantly from 2001 to 2007 (p = 0.008), however, this figure decreased in men. In reference area, obesity indices had no significant association with DM control. The percentage of diabetic subjects with high WC who controlled their DM decreased non-significantly in intervention area compared to reference area in 2007. A non-significant increase in controlled DM among men and women with high WHR was observed between intervention and reference areas.
Our lifestyle interventions did not show any improving effect on HTN or DM control among obese subjects based on different obesity indices. Other lifestyle intervention strategies are suggested.
PMCID: PMC3252770  PMID: 22247721
Hypertension; Diabetes; Obesity; Control; Prevention; Iran
2.  Association between sleep duration and metabolic syndrome in a population-based study: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
Recent epidemiologic studies have found that self-reported sleep duration is associated with components of metabolic syndrome (MS) such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. This relation may be under influence of regional factors in different regions of the world. The association of sleep duration and MS in a sample of Iranian people in the central region of Iran was investigated in this study.
This cross-sectional study was conducted as a part of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP). A total of 12492 individuals aged over 19 years, 6110 men and 6382 women entered the study. Definition of National Cholesterol Education Program was used to define MS. Sleep duration was reported by participants. Relation between sleep duration with MS was examined using categorical logistic regression in two models; unadjusted and adjusted for age and sex.
In our study, 23.5 % of participants had MS. Compared with sleep duration of 7-8 hours per night; sleep duration of less than 5 hours was associated with a higher odds ratio for MS. This association remained significant even after adjustment for age and sex (OR: 1.52; 95%CI: 1.33-1.74). However, sleep duration of 9 hours or more showed a protective association with MS (OR: 0.79; 95%CI: 0.68-0.94).
There was a positive relation between sleep deprivation and MS and its components. This relation was slightly affected by sex and age.
PMCID: PMC3214399  PMID: 22091310
Sleep; Metabolic Syndrome; Heart; Population
3.  Body Mass Index, Waist-circumference and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Iranian Adults: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
Considering the main effect of obesity on chronic non-communicable diseases, this study was performed to assess the association between body mass index (BMI), waist-circumference (WC), cardiometabolic risk factors and to corroborate whether either or both BMI and WC are independently associated with the risk factors in a sample of Iranian adults. This cross-sectional study was performed on data from baseline survey of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP). The study was done on 12,514 randomly-selected adults in Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak counties in 2000-2001. Ages of the subjects were recorded. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), 2-hour post-load glucose (2hpp), serum lipids, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), BMI, WC, smoking status, and total daily physical activity were determined. Increase in BMI and WC had a significant positive relation with the mean of FBG, 2hpp, SBP, DBP, serum lipids, except for HDL-C (p<0.001 for all). After adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, socioeconomic status (SES), and BMI, the highest odds ratio (OR) (95% CI) for diabetes mellitus (DM) according to WC was 3.13 (1.93-5.08) and 1.99 (1.15-3.44) in women and men respectively. Moreover, the highest ORs based on BMI with adjustment for age, smoking, physical activity, SES, and WC were for dyslipidaemia (DLP) [1.97 (1.58-2.45) in women and 2.96 (2.41-3.63) in men]. The use of BMI or WC alone in the models caused to enhance all ORs. When both BMI and WC were entered in the model, the ORs for all risk factors, in men, according to BMI, were more compared to WC. However, in women, ORs for DM and hypertension (HTN) in WC quartiles were more than in BMI quartiles. BMI is the better predictor of DM, HTN, and DLP in men compared to WC. Conversely, in women, WC is a superior predictor than BMI, particularly for DM and HTN. Furthermore, the measurement of both WC and BMI in Iranian adults may be a better predictor of traditional risk factors of CVDs compared to BMI or WC alone.
PMCID: PMC3805889  PMID: 24288953
Body mass index; Diabetes mellitus; Dyslipidaemia; Hypertension; Obesity; Risk Factor; Waist-circumference; Iran
4.  Are Current UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Obesity Risk Guidelines Useful? Cross-Sectional Associations with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in a Large, Representative English Population 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67764.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently released obesity guidelines for health risk. For the first time in the UK, we estimate the utility of these guidelines by relating them to the established cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Health Survey for England (HSE) 2006, a population-based cross-sectional study in England was used with a sample size of 7225 men and women aged ≥35 years (age range: 35–97 years). The following CVD risk factor outcomes were used: hypertension, diabetes, total and high density lipoprotein cholesterol, glycated haemoglobin, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein and Framingham risk score. Four NICE categories of obesity were created based on body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC): no risk (up to normal BMI and low/high WC); increased risk (normal BMI & very high WC, or obese & low WC); high risk (overweight & very high WC, or obese & high WC); and very high risk (obese I & very high WC or obese II/III with any levels of WC. Men and women in the very high risk category had the highest odds ratios (OR) of having unfavourable CVD risk factors compared to those in the no risk category. For example, the OR of having hypertension for those in the very high risk category of the NICE obesity groupings was 2.57 (95% confidence interval 2.06 to 3.21) in men, and 2.15 (1.75 to 2.64) in women. Moreover, a dose-response association between the adiposity groups and most of the CVD risk factors was observed except total cholesterol in men and low HDL in women. Similar results were apparent when the Framingham risk score was the outcome of interest. In conclusion, the current NICE definitions of obesity show utility for a range of CVD risk factors and CVD risk in both men and women.
PMCID: PMC3699476  PMID: 23844088
5.  Risk factors of atherosclerosis in male smokers, passive smokers, and hypertensive nonsmokers in central Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(2):90-95.
Some studies showed that smoking follows an upward trend in Asian countries as compared with other countries. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cigarette smoking on cardiovascular diseases and risk factors of atherosclerosis in patients with hypertension.
This study was conducted on 6123 men residing in central Iran (Isfahan and Markazi Provinces) that participated in Isfahan Healthy Heart Project (IHHP). Subjects were randomly selected using cluster sampling method. All the subjects were studied in terms of their history of cardiovascular disease, demographic characteristics, smoking, blood pressure, physical examination, pulse rate, respiratory rate, weight, height, waist circumference, and blood measurements including LDL-C, HDL-C, total cholesterol, triglyceride, fasting blood sugar and 2-hour post prandial test.
While 893 subjects suffered from hypertension, 5230 subjects were healthy. The hypertension prevalence was 2.5 times more in urban areas compared to rural areas that showed a significant difference as it increased to 3.5 times smoking factor was considered. The prevalence of risk factors of atherosclerosis and also cardiovascular complications in patients with hypertension were significantly higher than healthy people. Furthermore, they were higher in smokers with hypertension and those exposed to the cigarette smoke than nonsmokers.
Smoking and passive smoking had an increasing effect on the prevalence of risk factors of atherosclerosis and consequently the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in patients with hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3463995  PMID: 23056110
Hypertension; Cigarette Smoking; Cardiovascular Disease; Risk Factor
6.  Socioeconomic Disparities and Smoking Habits in Metabolic Syndrome: Evidence from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
The metabolic syndrome (Mets) consists of major clustering of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. This study determines the association of socioeconomic determinants and smoking behavior in a population-based sample of Iranians with Mets.
This cross-sectional survey comprised 12600 randomly selected men and women aged ≥ 19 years living in three counties in central part of Iran. They participated in the baseline survey of a community-based program for CVD prevention entitled” Isfahan Healthy Heart Program” in 2000-2001. Subjects with Mets were selected based on NCEP- ATPIII criteria. Demographic data, medical history, lifestyle, smoking habits, physical examination, blood pressure, obesity indices and serum lipids were determined.
The mean age of subjects with Mets was significantly higher. The mean age of smokers in both groups was higher than non-smokers but with lower WC and WHR. Marital status, age and residency were not significantly different in smokers with Mets and non-smokers with Mets. Smoking was more common in the middle educational group in the income category of Quartile 1-3. Mets was significantly related to age, sex and education. Middle-aged and elderly smokers were at approximately 4-5 times higher risk among Mets subjects. Low education decreased the risk of Mets by 0.48; similarly in non-smokers, 6-12 years of education decreased the risk of Mets by 0.72.
More educated persons had a better awareness and behavior related to their health and role of smoking. In the lower social strata of the Iranian population, more efforts are needed against smoking habits.
PMCID: PMC3371999  PMID: 22737524
Socioeconomic status; Smoking; Metabolic syndrome; Iran
7.  Discordances among different tools used to estimate cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women 
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology  2009;25(12):e413-e416.
New cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are being recognized and suggested to be included in CVD risk stratification. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) are among these risk factors. However, CVD risk classification may be divergent when using different approaches.
To compare differences in CVD risk estimation using the Framingham risk score (FRS), hs-CRP and the presence of the MetS in a group of 109 postmenopausal women in primary CVD prevention.
The FRS and presence of the MetS were determined. CVD risk was evaluated with a cardiovascular point scoring system based on Framingham covariables and hs-CRP values (Women’s Health Study [WHS] model). The estimated CVD risks based on hs-CRP levels and the WHS model were compared with the FRS.
Using the FRS, 99% of women (n=108) were determined to have a low CVD risk. The MetS was identified in 39.4% (n=43) of the women. When hs-CRP was used alone to estimate CVD risk, 37.6% (n=41) of women were classified as being at low, 33.9% (n=37) at moderate and 28.4% (n=31) at high CVD risk. With the WHS model, 83.5% (n=91), 14.7% (n=16) and 1.8 % (n=2) of women were classified as being at low, moderate and high CVD risk, respectively.
A substantial number of postmenopausal women showing evidence of the MetS were not identified by the FRS, even though women with the MetS are at higher risk of CVD. Estimation of risk by hs-CRP is significantly divergent when using conventional hs-CRP cutoff values compared with an integrated use in the WHS model.
PMCID: PMC2807837  PMID: 19960135
CVD risk assessment; Framingham risk score; hs-CRP; Metabolic syndrome; Women’s health
8.  Anthropometric measurements of general and central obesity and the prediction of cardiovascular disease risk in women: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(2):e004138.
It is important to ascertain which anthropometric measurements of obesity, general or central, are better predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in women. 10-year CVD risk was calculated from the Framingham risk score model, SCORE risk chart for high-risk regions, general CVD and simplified general CVD risk score models. Increase in CVD risk associated with 1 SD increment in each anthropometric measurement above the mean was calculated, and the diagnostic utility of obesity measures in identifying participants with increased likelihood of being above the treatment threshold was assessed.
Cross-sectional data from the National Heart Foundation Risk Factor Prevalence Study.
Population-based survey in Australia.
4487 women aged 20–69 years without heart disease, diabetes or stroke.
Outcome measures
Anthropometric obesity measures that demonstrated the greatest increase in CVD risk as a result of incremental change, 1 SD above the mean, and obesity measures that had the greatest diagnostic utility in identifying participants above the respective treatment thresholds of various risk score models.
Waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-stature ratio had larger effects on increased CVD risk compared with body mass index (BMI). These central obesity measures also had higher sensitivity and specificity in identifying women above and below the 20% treatment threshold than BMI. Central obesity measures also recorded better correlations with CVD risk compared with general obesity measures. WC and WHR were found to be significant and independent predictors of CVD risk, as indicated by the high area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (>0.76), after controlling for BMI in the simplified general CVD risk score model.
Central obesity measures are better predictors of CVD risk compared with general obesity measures in women. It is equally important to maintain a healthy weight and to prevent central obesity concurrently.
PMCID: PMC3918987  PMID: 24503301
Public Health; Epidemiology
9.  Burden and Rates of Treatment and Control of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Obesity 
Diabetes Care  2008;31(7):1367-1372.
OBJECTIVE— Obesity is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We sought to determine rates of treatment and control of CVD risk factors among normal weight, overweight, and obese individuals in a community-based cohort.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS— Participants free of CVD (n = 6,801; mean age 49 years; 54% women) from the Framingham Offspring and Third Generation cohorts who attended the seventh Offspring examination (1998–2001) or first Third Generation (2002–2005) examination were studied.
RESULTS— Obese participants with hypertension were more likely to receive antihypertensive treatment (62.3%) than normal weight (58.7%) or overweight (59.0%) individuals (P = 0.002), but no differences in hypertension control across BMI subgroups among participants with hypertension were observed (36.7% [normal weight], 37.3% [overweight], and 39.4% [obese]; P = 0.48). Rates of lipid-lowering treatment were higher among obese participants with elevated LDL cholesterol (39.5%) compared with normal weight (34.2%) or overweight (36.4%) participants (P = 0.02), but control rates among those with elevated LDL cholesterol did not differ across BMI categories (26.7% [normal weight], 26.0% [overweight], and 29.2% [obese]; P = 0.11). There were no differences in diabetes treatment among participants with diabetes across BMI groups (69.2% [normal weight], 50.0% [overweight], 55.0% [obese]; P = 0.54), but obese participants with diabetes were less likely to have fasting blood glucose <126 mg/dl (15.7%) compared with normal weight (30.4%) or overweight (20.7%) participants (P = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS— These findings emphasize the suboptimal rates of treatment and control of CVD risk factors among overweight and obese individuals.
PMCID: PMC2453683  PMID: 18375414
10.  Burden and Rates of Treatment and Control of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Obesity: The Framingham Heart Study 
Diabetes care  2008;31(7):1367-1372.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We sought to determine rates of treatment and control of CVD risk factors among normal weight, overweight and obese individuals in a community-based cohort.
Research Design and Methods
Participants free of CVD (n=6801; mean age 49 years; 54% women) from the Framingham Offspring and Third Generation cohorts who attended the seventh Offspring examination (1998–2001) or first Third Generation (2002–2005) examination were studied.
Obese participants with hypertension were more likely to receive antihypertensive treatment (62.3%) than normal weight (58.7%) or overweight individuals (59.0%; p=0.002), but no differences in hypertension control across BMI subgroups among participants with hypertension were observed (36.7% [normal weight], 37.3% [overweight], and 39.4% [obese]; p=0.48). Rates of lipid-lowering treatment were higher among obese participants with elevated LDL cholesterol (39.5%) as compared to normal weight (34.2%) or overweight participants (36.4%; p=0.02), but control rates among those with elevated LDL cholesterol did not differ across BMI categories (26.7% [normal weight], 26.0% [overweight], and 29.2% [obese]; p=0.11). There were no differences in diabetes treatment among participants with diabetes across BMI groups (69.2% [normal weight], 50.0% [overweight], 55.0% [obese]; p=0.54), but obese participants with diabetes were less likely to have fasting blood glucose <126 mg/dL (15.7%) as compared to normal weight (30.4%) or overweight participants (20.7%; p=0.02).
These findings emphasize the suboptimal rates of treatment and control of CVD risk factors among overweight and obese individuals.
PMCID: PMC2453683  PMID: 18375414
11.  Lifetime Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Individuals With and Without Diabetes Stratified by Obesity Status in the Framingham Heart Study  
Diabetes Care  2008;31(8):1582-1584.
OBJECTIVE—We assessed the lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among individuals with and without obesity and diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Participants were drawn from the original and offspring cohorts of the Framingham Heart Study. Lifetime (30-year) risk of CVD was assessed using a modified Kaplan-Meier approach adjusting for the competing risk of death, beginning from age 50 years.
RESULTS—Over 30 years, the lifetime risk of CVD among women with diabetes was 54.8% among normal-weight women and 78.8% among obese women. Among normal-weight men with diabetes, the lifetime risk of CVD was 78.6%, whereas it was 86.9% among obese men.
CONCLUSIONS—The lifetime risk of CVD among individuals with diabetes is high, and this relationship is further accentuated with increasing adiposity.
PMCID: PMC2494632  PMID: 18458146
12.  How effective are strategies for non-communicable disease prevention and control in a high risk population in a developing country? Isfahan Healthy Heart Programme 
The Isfahan Healthy Heart Programme (IHHP) is a community-based programme for non-communicable diseases prevention and control using both a population and high risk approach in Iran. This study demonstrated the efficacy of IHHP interventional strategies to improve lifestyle behaviours in a population at risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.
Material and methods
Healthy Lifestyle for NCDs High Risk Population is one of ten projects of IHHP. High risk individuals were defined as those who have at least one risk factor for developing coronary artery disease (CAD). Changes of behavioural indicators have been compared between two areas with a survey after 5 years of intervention.
Among high risk individuals in the intervention and reference areas, 77.8% and 82.5% had at least one major risk factor for CAD. The prevalence of major risk factors for CAD (except cigarette smoking) was decreased in both intervention and reference areas during 5 years of intervention and the pattern of diet and physical activity was improved.
Interventional activities in IHHP targeting the high risk population seem to be effective in improving lifestyle behaviour, increasing awareness and control of risk factors of the high risk population.
PMCID: PMC3278939  PMID: 22371716
coronary artery disease; risk factor; healthy lifestyle; community interventions; developing country; Iran
13.  Prevalence, Distribution, and Risk Factor Correlates of High Thoracic Periaortic Fat in the Framingham Heart Study 
Thoracic periaortic adipose tissue (TAT) is associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and may play a role in obesity‐mediated vascular disease. We sought to determine the prevalence, distribution, and risk factor correlates of high TAT.
Methods and Results
Participants from the Framingham Heart Study (n=3246, 48% women, mean age 51.1 years) underwent multidetector computed tomography; high TAT and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) were defined on the basis of sex‐specific 90th percentiles in a healthy referent sample. The prevalence of high TAT was 38.1% in women and 35.7% in men. Among individuals without high VAT, 10.1% had high TAT. After adjustment for age and VAT, both women and men with high TAT in the absence of high VAT were older and had a higher prevalence of CVD (P<0.0001) compared with those without high TAT. In addition, men in this group were more likely to be smokers (P=0.02), whereas women were more likely to have low high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol (P=0.005).
Individuals in our community‐based sample with high TAT in the absence of high VAT were characterized by an adverse cardiometabolic profile. This adipose tissue phenotype may identify a subset of individuals with distinct metabolic characteristics.
PMCID: PMC3540666  PMID: 23316328
body fat distribution; obesity; perivascular adipose tissue; risk factors; visceral adipose tissue
14.  Excess Cardiovascular Risk Burden in Jamaican Women Does Not Influence Predicted 10-Year CVD Risk Profiles of Jamaica Adults: An Analysis of the 2007/08 Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66625.
Black Caribbean women have a higher burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors than their male counterparts. Whether this results in a difference in incident cardiovascular events is unknown. The aim of this study was to estimate the 10 year World Health Organization/International Society for Hypertension (WHO/ISH) CVD risk score for Jamaica and explore the effect of sex as well as obesity, physical activity and socioeconomic status on these estimates.
Methods and Findings
Data from 40–74 year old participants in the 2007/08 Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey were used. Trained interviewers administered questionnaires and measured anthropometrics, blood pressure, fasting glucose and cholesterol. Education and occupation were used to assess socioeconomic status. The Americas B tables were used to estimate the WHO/ISH 10 year CVD risk scores for the population. Weighted prevalence estimates were calculated. Data from 1,432 (450 men, 982 women) participants were analysed, after excluding those with self-reported heart attack and stroke. The women had a higher prevalence of diabetes (19%W;12%M), hypertension (49%W;47%M), hypercholesterolemia (25%W;11%M), obesity (46%W;15%M) and physical inactivity (59%W;29%M). More men smoked (6%W;31%M). There was good agreement between the 10-year cardiovascular risk estimates whether or not cholesterol measurements were utilized for calculation (kappa –0.61). While 90% had a 10 year WHO/ISH CVD risk of less than 10%, approximately 2% of the population or 14,000 persons had a 10 year WHO/ISH CVD risk of ≥30%. As expected CVD risk increased with age but there was no sex difference in CVD risk distribution despite women having a greater risk factor burden. Women with low socioeconomic status had the most adverse CVD risk profile.
Despite women having a higher prevalence of CVD risk factors there was no sex difference in 10-year WHO/ISH CVD risk in Jamaican adults.
PMCID: PMC3689813  PMID: 23805252
15.  Cardiovascular Disease Risk of Abdominal Obesity versus Metabolic Abnormalities 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2010;19(4):853-860.
It remains unclear whether abdominal obesity increases cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk independent of the metabolic abnormalities which often accompany it. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to evaluate the independent effects of abdominal obesity versus metabolic syndrome and diabetes on the risk for incident coronary heart disease and stroke. The Framingham Offspring, Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities, and Cardiovascular Health studies were pooled to assess the independent effects of abdominal obesity (waist circumference >102 cm for men and >88 cm for women) versus metabolic syndrome (excluding the waist circumference criterion) and diabetes on risk for incident coronary heart disease and stroke in 20,298 men and women aged ≥45 years. The average follow-up was 8.3 (standard deviation 1.9) years. There were 1,766 CVD events. After adjustment for demographic factors, smoking, alcohol intake, number of metabolic syndrome components and diabetes, abdominal obesity was not significantly associated with an increased risk of CVD (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.09 [0.98, 1.20]). However, after adjustment for demographics, smoking, alcohol intake, and abdominal obesity, having 1–2 metabolic syndrome components, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes were each associated with a significantly increased risk of CVD (2.12 [1.80, 2.50], 2.82 [1.92, 4.12] and 5.33 [3.37, 8.41], respectively). Although abdominal obesity is an important clinical tool for identification of individuals likely to possess metabolic abnormalities, these data suggest that the metabolic syndrome and diabetes are considerably more important prognostic indicators of CVD risk.
PMCID: PMC3065535  PMID: 20725064
16.  Gender Differences in Obesogenic Behaviour, Socioeconomic and Metabolic Factors in a Population-based Sample of Iranians: The IHHP Study 
This study investigated the gender differences in association of some behavioural and socioeconomic factors with obesity indices in a population-based sample of 12,514 Iranian adults. The mean body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were significantly higher in women than in men. Current and passive smoking had an inverse association with BMI among males whereas current smoking, transportation by a private car, and longer duration of watching television (TV) had a positive association with BMI among females. Current and passive smoking, cycling, and Global Dietary Index (GDI) had an inverse association with WC among males. Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, current and passive smoking, duration of daily sleep, and GDI had an inverse association with WC among females. Using a private car for transportation had a significant positive association with WHR among both males and females. Living in an urban area, being married, and having a higher education level increased the odds ratio of obesity among both the genders. Non-manual work also increased this risk among males whereas watching TV and current smoking increased this risk among females. Such gender differences should be considered for culturally-appropriate interventional strategies to be implemented at the population level for tackling obesity and associated cardiometabolic risk factors.
PMCID: PMC2995029  PMID: 21261206
Cardiovascular diseases; Cross-sectional studies; Lifestyle; Obesity; Risk factors; Socioeconomic factors; Iran
17.  Reduction in Framingham Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Obese Patients Undergoing Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding 
Advances in Therapy  2013;30:684-696.
Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), with weight loss offering improvement in CVD risk factors.
To examine whether weight loss in laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB)-treated obese patients is associated with meaningful reductions in estimated 10- and 30- year Framingham CVD risk 12–15 months post-LAGB.
Obese adult patients [body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2] treated with LAGB were identified in a large US healthcare database. Patients without CVD at baseline and with measures of BMI, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking status at baseline and follow-up were eligible. Non-LAGB patients were propensity score matched to LAGB patients on baseline BMI, age, and gender. Estimated 10- and 30-year risk of developing CVD using office-based data, including BMI, was calculated at baseline and 12–15 months follow-up.
Mean BMI in LAGB patients (n = 647, average age 45.66 years, 81.1% female) decreased from 42.7 to 33.4 kg/m2 (P < 0.0001), with 35.4% no longer obese; 10- and 30-year estimated CVD risk decreased from 10.8 to 7.6% (P < 0.0001) and 44.34 to 32.30% (P < 0.0001), respectively, 12–15 months post-LAGB. Improvements were significantly greater than in non-LAGB patients (N = 4,295) (P < 0.0001). In the subset with lipid data (n = 74), improvements in total (−20.6 mg/dL; P < 0.05) and high-density lipoprotein (+10.6 mg/dL, P < 0.0001) cholesterol 1 year post-LAGB were also observed.
Data from a US healthcare database show that individuals undergoing LAGB have significant weight loss and reductions in estimated 10- to 30-year CVD risk within 1 year post-LAGB.
PMCID: PMC3747322  PMID: 23897217
Cardiology; Cardiovascular disease; Framingham risk score; Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding; Obesity; Weight loss
18.  Comparison of the Framingham and Reynolds Risk Scores for Global Cardiovascular Risk Prediction in the Multiethnic Women’s Health Initiative 
Circulation  2012;125(14):1748-1756.
Framingham-based and Reynolds risk scores for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prediction have not been directly compared in an independent validation cohort.
Methods and Results
We selected a case-cohort sample of the multi-ethnic Women’s Health Initiative Observational Cohort, comprising 1722 cases of major CVD (752 MIs, 754 ischemic strokes, and 216 other CVD deaths) and a random subcohort of 1994 women without prior CVD. We estimated risk using the ATP-III score, the Reynolds risk score, and the Framingham CVD model, reweighting to reflect cohort frequencies. Predicted 10-year risk varied widely between models, with 10% or higher risk in 6%, 10%, and 41% of women using the ATP-III, Reynolds, and Framingham CVD models, respectively. Calibration was adequate for the Reynolds model, but the ATP-III and Framingham CVD models over-estimated risk for CHD and major CVD, respectively. After recalibration, the Reynolds model demonstrated improved discrimination over the ATP-III model through a higher c-statistic (0.765 vs. 0.757, p=0.03), positive net reclassification improvement (NRI) (4.9%, p=0.02) and positive integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) (4.1%, p<0.0001) overall, excluding diabetics (NRI=4.2%, p=0.01), and in white (NRI=4.3%, p=0.04) and black (NRI=11.4, p=0.13) women. The Reynolds (NRI=12.9, p<0.0001) and ATP-III (NRI=5.9%, p=0.0001) models demonstrated better discrimination than the Framingham CVD model.
The Reynolds Risk Score was better calibrated than the Framingham-based models in this large external validation cohort. The Reynolds score also showed improved discrimination overall and in black and white women. Large differences in risk estimates exist between models, with clinical implications for statin therapy.
PMCID: PMC3324658  PMID: 22399535
cardiovascular disease risk factors; models; prediction; risk score; statins
19.  Socioeconomic characteristics and controlled hypertension: Evidence from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):77-81.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. It affects approximately 18.0% of Iranian adults. This study aimed to estimate age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension and its control among Iranian persons older 19 years of age. It also tried to find and socioeconomic factors associated with hypertension control in Iranian population.
In Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) subjects were selected by multistage random sampling. The participants completed questionnaires containing demographic information, lifestyle habits, medical history, and consumption of relevant medications, especially antihypertensive agents. Income, marital status, and educational level were considered as socioeconomic factors. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or taking antihypertensive medications. Controlled hypertension was considered as systolic blood pressure < 140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure < 90 mmHg among hypertensive subjects.
The prevalence of hypertension and controlled hypertension was 18.9% and 20.9%, respectively. We found significant relationships between hypertension and marital status, education, and income. At age ≥ 65 years old, odds ratio (OR) was 19.09 [95% confidence interval (CI): 15.01-24.28] for hypertension. Middle family income (OR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.58-0.87) and education level of 6-12 years (OR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.25-0.35) were significantly associated with increased risk of hypertension (P = 0.001). Among subjects aging 65 years old or higher, the OR of controlled hypertension was 2.64 (95% CI: 1.61-4.33). Married subjects had a higher OR for controlled hypertension (OR: 2.19; 95% CI: 1.36-3.52). Obesity had no significant relationships with controlled hypertension.
The IHHP data showed significant relationships between some socioeconomic factors and controlled hypertension. Therefore, as current control rates for hypertension in Iran are clearly unacceptable, we recommend preventive measures to control hypertension in all social strata of the Iranian population.
PMCID: PMC3653252  PMID: 23696763
Socioeconomic Factor; High Blood Pressure; Control
20.  Metabolic syndrome and health-related quality of life in Iranian population 
To investigate the association between Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and Health related quality of life (QoL) in Iranian population.
We used data from the post-intervention phase of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a community trial for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and control. We recruited 9570 healthy adults, aged ≥ 19 years who were randomly selected using multistage random sampling method. World Health Organization QoL questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) which contains 26 items was used to assess QoL. It assesses four domains of QoL; Physical health, Psychological health, Social relationship and Environmental issues. MetS was defined based on ATP III criteria.
The mean age of participants was 38.8±15.6 years (mean ± SD) and the prevalence of MetS was 22.5%. From all participant 18.2% were illiterate and 13.2% had university educational level. Two way multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) test after adjusting age showed significant difference between women with and without Mets in regard to physical health and social relations domains, while none of QoL domains was different in men with Mets in comparison to men without it.
After adjusting the role of socio-demographic factors as components of QoL score, no association was observed between QoL domains and MetS in men, while only social relations and physical health scores were higher in women with Mets compared to those without Mets. Other variety of health-related QoL assessment tools or definitions of MetS may show different relationship in the Iranian socio-cultural context.
PMCID: PMC3214330  PMID: 22091241
Metabolic syndrome; Quality of life; General population
21.  Angina pectoris is a stronger indicator of diffuse vascular atherosclerosis than intermittent claudication: Framingham study 
Journal of clinical epidemiology  2008;61(9):951-957.
To compare implications of Angina Pectoris (AP) and Intermittent Claudication (IC) as indicators of clinical atherosclerosis in other vascular territories.
Study Design and Setting
Prospective cohort study of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 5,209 men and women of Framingham, MA, aged 28–62 years at enrollment in 1948–1951, who received biennial examinations during the first 36 years of follow-up. Comparative 10-year incidence of subsequent atherosclerotic CVD in participants with IC and AP relative to a reference sample free of CVD was determined.
On follow-up, 95 CVD events occurred in 186 participants with IC and 206 of 413 with AP. After age, sex, and risk-factor adjustment, the proportion acquiring other CVD was 34.0% for IC and 43.4% for AP. Relative to the reference sample, those with IC had a 2.73-fold higher age and sex-adjusted 10-year hazard of CVD (95% CI 2.21, 3.38) and for AP was 3.17 (95% CI 2.73, 3.69). CVD hazard ratios remained more elevated for AP and statistically significant after standard risk factor adjustment. Risk factors accounted for more of the excess CVD risk associated with IC (34.8%) than AP (9.5%).
AP is as useful as IC as a hallmark of diffuse atherosclerotic CVD and an indication for comprehensive preventive measures.
PMCID: PMC3898849  PMID: 18495425
Angina pectoris; Intermittent claudication; Prognosis; Cohort study; Cardiovascular disease; Vascular damage indicator
22.  The relation between dietary intake of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels in central Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):168-175.
The detrimental effects of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs) on apolipoproteins have been reported from several parts of the world. However, little data is available in this regard from the understudied region of the Middle East. The present study therefore tried to evaluate the association between type of vegetable oils and serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels among Iranians.
In this cross-sectional study, data from 1772 people (795 men and 977 women) aged 19–81 years, who were selected with multistage cluster random sampling method from three cities of Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak in “Isfahan Healthy Heart Program” (IHHP) (Iran), was used. To assess participants' usual dietary intakes, a validated food frequency questionnaire was used. Hydrogenated vegetable oil (commonly consumed for cooking in Iran) and margarine were considered as the category of PHVOs. Soy, sunflower, corn, olive and canola oils were considered as non-HVOs. After an overnight fasting, serum cholesterol (total, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol) and triglyceride as well as apolipoproteins A and B were measured using standard methods.
Participants with the highest intakes of non-HVOs and PHVOs were younger and had lower weight than those with lowest intakes. High consumption of non-HVOs and PHVOs was associated with lower intakes of energy, carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and grains. No overall significant differences were found in serum lipids and apolipoprotein levels across the quartiles of non-HVOs and PHVOs after controlling for potential confounding.
We did not find any significant associations between hydrogenated or nonhydrogenated vegetable oil and serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. Thus, further studies are needed in this region to explore this association.
PMCID: PMC3413086  PMID: 23205051
Vegetable Oils; Cardiovascular Risk Factors; Lipids; Apolipoproteins; Diet
23.  Mood Disorder Symptoms and Elevated Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Patients with Bipolar Disorder 
Journal of Affective Disorders  2012;138(3):405-408.
We examined the association between mood symptoms and 10-year CVD risk estimated by Framingham risk score in a cohort of patients with bipolar disorder.
Veterans with bipolar disorder and CVD risk factors (N=118) were recruited from outpatient VA clinics. CVD risk factor data were collected from electronic medical records and patient surveys, and used to calculate patient Framingham Scores. The relationship between mood symptoms (depressive, manic) and Framingham scores was examined, as was the relationship between mental health symptoms and individual CVD risk factors (lipids, blood pressure, weight, smoking, and fasting glucose).
Mean sample age was 53 years (SD=9.9), 17% were female, and 5% were African- American. Almost 70% were obese (BMI ≥30), 84% had hyperlipidemia, 70% were hypertensive, and 25% had diabetes. Nineteen percent had a Framingham score of >20%, indicative of elevated 10-year risk of developing CVD. After adjusting for age, gender, diabetes diagnosis, smoking status, and mood symptoms, patients with clinically significant depressive symptoms had a 6-fold increased odds of having a Framingham score of >20% (OR=6.1, p=0.03) while clinically significant manic symptoms were not associated with the Framingham score (OR=0.6, p=0.36). Depressive symptoms were also associated with elevated BMI, fasting glucose, and blood pressure.
Single-site study reliant on cross-sectional and self-reported mood measures.
After controlling for physiologic correlates, depressive symptoms were associated with greater relative 10-year risk for CVD mortality among patients with bipolar disorder. Interventions that address self-management of depressive symptoms may help persons with bipolar disorder decrease CVD risk.
PMCID: PMC3306618  PMID: 22357338
cardiovascular disease; bipolar disorder; preventive screening; heart disease; risk factors
24.  Reduced Growth Hormone Secretion in Obesity is Associated with Smaller LDL and HDL Particle Size 
Clinical endocrinology  2012;76(2):220-227.
Reduced growth hormone (GH) secretion is observed in obesity and may contribute to increases in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Lipoprotein characteristics including increased small dense LDL particles are known independent risk factors for CVD. We hypothesized that reduced GH secretion in obesity would be associated with a more atherogenic lipid profile including increased small dense LDL particles.
To evaluate this hypothesis, we studied 102 normal weight and obese men and women using standard GH stimulation testing to assess GH secretory capacity and performed comprehensive lipoprotein analyses including determination of lipoprotein particle size and sub-class concentrations using proton NMR spectroscopy.
Obese subjects were stratified into reduced or sufficient GH secretion based on the median peak stimulated GH (≤6.25 μg/l). Obese subjects with reduced GH secretion (n=35) demonstrated a smaller mean LDL and HDL particle size in comparison to normal weight subjects (n=33) or obese subjects with sufficient GH (n=34) by ANOVA (P<0.0001). Univariate analyses demonstrated peak stimulated GH was positively associated with LDL (r=0.50; P<0.0001) and HDL (r=0.57; P<0.0001) but not VLDL (P=0.06) particle size. Multivariate regression analysis controlling for age, gender, race, ethnicity, tobacco, use of lipid lowering medication, BMI and HOMA demonstrated peak stimulated GH remained significantly associated with LDL particle size (β=0.01; P=0.01; R2=0.42; P<0.0001 for overall model) and HDL particle size (β=0.008; P=0.001; R2=0.44; P<0.0001 for overall model).
These results suggest reduced peak stimulated GH in obesity is independently associated with a more atherogenic lipoprotein profile defined in terms of particle size.
PMCID: PMC3253195  PMID: 21819438
relative growth hormone deficiency; lipoprotein particle size; cardiovascular risk
25.  Cardiovascular disease risk scores in identifying future frailty: the Whitehall II prospective cohort study 
Heart  2013;99(10):737-742.
To examine the capacity of existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk algorithms widely used in primary care, to predict frailty.
Prospective cohort study. Risk algorithms at baseline (1997–1999) were the Framingham CVD, coronary heart disease and stroke risk scores, and the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation.
Civil Service departments in London, UK.
3895 participants (73% men) aged 45–69 years and free of CVD at baseline.
Main outcome measure
Status of frailty at the end of follow-up (2007–2009), based on the following indicators: self-reported exhaustion, low physical activity, slow walking speed, low grip strength and weight loss.
At the end of the follow-up, 2.8% (n=108) of the sample was classified as frail. All four CVD risk scores were associated with future risk of developing frailty, with ORs per one SD increment in the score ranging from 1.35 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.51) for the Framingham stroke score to 1.42 (1.23 to 1.62) for the Framingham CVD score. These associations remained after excluding incident CVD cases. For comparison, the corresponding ORs for the risk scores and incident cardiovascular events varied between 1.36 (1.15 to 1.61) and 1.64 (1.50 to 1.80) depending on the risk algorithm.
The use of CVD risk scores in clinical practice may also have utility for frailty prediction.
PMCID: PMC3632981  PMID: 23503403

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