The burden of non-communicable diseases is rising globally. This trend seems to be faster in developing countries of the Middle East. In this study, we presented the latest prevalence rates of a number of important non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in the Iranian population.
The results of this study are extracted from the third national Surveillance of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases (SuRFNCD-2007), conducted in 2007. A total of 5,287 Iranian citizens, aged 15–64 years, were included in this survey. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were applied to collect the data of participants including the demographics, diet, physical activity, smoking, history of hypertension, and history of diabetes. Anthropometric characteristics were measured and serum biochemistry profiles were determined on venous blood samples. Diabetes (fasting plasma glucose ≥ 126 mg/dl), hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or use of anti-hypertensive drugs), dyslipidemia (hypertriglyceridemia: triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dl, hypercholesterolemia: total cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dl), obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2), and central obesity (waist circumference ≥ 80 cm in females and ≥ 94 cm in males) were identified and the national prevalence rates were estimated.
The prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and central obesity was 8.7% (95%CI = 7.4–10.2%), 26.6% (95%CI = 24.4–28.9%), 22.3% (95%CI = 20.2–24.5%), and 53.6% (95%CI = 50.4–56.8%), respectively. The prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia was 36.4% (95%CI = 34.1–38.9%) and 42.9% (95%CI = 40.4–45.4%), respectively. All of the mentioned prevalence rates were higher among females (except hypertriglyceridemia) and urban residents.
We documented a strikingly high prevalence of a number of chronic non-communicable diseases and their risk factors among Iranian adults. Urgent preventive interventions should be implemented to combat the growing public health problems in Iran.