Romania has some of the highest mortality figures in the world attributable to ischemic heart disease and stroke among both men and women.
To assess the changes in cardiovascular risk factors and ischemic heart disease in a group of subjects over 65 years of age during 1 year in an urban community of Romania.
Materials and methods
We studied 515 subjects (264 women and 251 men) with a mean age of 73.41±6.44 years, followed up over the course of 1 year in order to determine the changes that occurred in cardiovascular risk factors and in the evolution of ischemic heart disease. At the beginning and after 1 year, we determined the following parameters: anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, smoking status, lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipid cholesterol, low-density lipid cholesterol), fasting plasma glucose, and the presence of ischemic heart disease.
There were no differences between the first and second assessments concerning the incidence of smoking (12.3% versus (vs) 12.5%), obesity (25% vs 26%), diabetes mellitus (19% vs 22.9%), or hypertension (88.2% vs 92.2%). Statistically significant differences were recorded regarding dyslipidemia (40.6% vs 30.3%, P<0.001). Cholesterol median values decreased (204 mg/dL vs 194 mg/dL, P=0.003), while median concentrations of plasma glucose increased (101 mg/dL vs 105 mg/dL, P<0.05). At the same time, we noted a higher incidence of ischemic heart disease (51.65% vs 63%).
Our data show that in subjects over 65 years of age, cardiovascular disease occurs more often in women, but with certain features that should be taken into account. In addition, we point out the importance of reducing cardiovascular risk factors. However, we should not expect a major decrease or improvement in cardiovascular risk factors with such a short follow-up. Such results will be achieved only through long-term interventions.