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1.  The cumulative incidence of conventional risk factors of cardiovascular disease and their population attributable risk in an Iranian population: The Isfahan Cohort Study 
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death in Iran. The present study evaluated the 7-year incidence of CVD risk factors among the participants of Isfahan cohort study (ICS).
Materials and Methods:
ICS was a longitudinal study on adults over 35 years of age from the urban and rural areas in three counties in central Iran. Data on clinical examination and blood measurements were collected in 2001. Subjects were followed and similar data were collected in 2007. Cumulative incidence was calculated through dividing new cases of each risk factor by the population free of that risk factor at baseline. Incidence proportion was determined for major CVD risk factors including hypertension (HTN), hypercholesterolemia (HC), hypertriglyceridemia (HTg), obesity, diabetes mellitus (DM), metabolic syndrome (MetS), and smoking.
A total number of 6323 adults free of CVDs were recruited. After 7 years of follow-up, 3283 individuals were re-evaluated in 2007. The participants’ age was 49.2 ± 10.3 years in 2001 (mean ± SD). The 7-year cumulative incidence of HTN, HC, HTg, overweight, obesity, DM, MetS, and smoking was 22.8%, 37.4%, 28.0%, 26.3%, 7.4%, 9.5%, 23.9%, and 5.9% in men and 22.2%, 55.4%, 33.5%, 35.0%, 18.8%, 11.3%, 36.1%, and 0.7% in women, respectively. Among those with overweight or obesity, 14.7% of men and 7.9% of women decreased their weight up to the normal level.
The present study revealed a high incidence of CVD risk factors especially dyslipidemia, obesity, MetS and HTN. Therefore, the application of life-style modification interventions seems necessary.
PMCID: PMC4260292  PMID: 25538928
Cardiovascular disease; cumulative incidence; Iran; risk factor
2.  The relation between occupational exposure to lead and blood pressure among employed normotensive men 
Lead is a pollutant with numerous adverse effects on health. Since it can affect blood pressure, peripheral blood vessels, and the heart, the present study aimed to evaluate the relation between occupational exposure to lead and blood pressure.
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional study included male individuals working in battery firms in Isfahan. A questionnaire covering demographic characteristics and the history of different diseases and occupational exposure to lead was completed. Each participant's blood pressure was also measured and recorded. After obtaining blood samples and determining lead levels, mean and frequency analyses were performed. In addition, Pearson's correlation test and linear regression were used to assess the relation between blood lead levels (BLLs) and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. All analyses were performed in SPSS.19
The mean age of the 182 studied workers was 42.85 ± 13.65 years. They had worked in battery firms for a mean period of 23.67 ± 14.72 years. Moreover, the mean value of BLLs among the participants was 7.92 ± 3.44 μg/dL. Correlation between BLL and systolic and diastolic blood pressure was not significant. The effects of lead on systolic and diastolic blood pressure after stepwise regression were B = –0.327 [confidence interval (CI) 95%: –0.877 to 0.223] and B = –0.094 (CI 95%: –0.495 to 0.307), respectively.
This study revealed that BLLs in battery firm workers to be normal. Additionally, BLLs were not significantly related with either systolic or diastolic blood pressure which might have been the result of normal BLLs.
PMCID: PMC4155701  PMID: 25197288
Hypertension; lead; occupational exposure
3.  Do Iranian tobacco growers support the World Health Organization framework convention on tobacco control? 
Studies on the World Health Organization Frame-work Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) are scarce in Iran and the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR).
This study was conducted in 2007-2008 in Iran to design a practical evaluation model of the implementation of FCTC with the potential to be adopted in the EMR. Given that, the findings of this evaluation can be useful in increasing political and public support for enforcing the implementation of legislations, testing their feasibility, and maintaining sustainability. The viewpoints of tobacco growers as part of stakeholders in this regardwould have an influential role.
Settings and Design:
This study was a qualitative one to investigate the tobacco growers viewpoints about thestrengths/weaknesses of FCTC implementation in Iran.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, we conducted semi-structured in-depth individual interviews with 5 tobacco growers. All interviews were carried out with their permissionwere recorded and were assured that their interviews will be kept confidential. All questions were related to different FCTC articles, then written transcripts were prepared and the basic concepts were extrapolated.
Statistical Analysis:
After transcribing the recorded interviews, we extracted first level codes and main concepts from them.
The findings suggested that although tobacco growers agreed with FCTC implementation, however, subjects like the necessity to support tobacco growers and obtaining insurance from the government, the necessity of the enforcement of national tobacco control law and planning to decrease access to tobacco by policy makers were the most key points that tobacco growers pointed to them.
Our results showed that tobacco growers agreed with the implementation of FCTC but they worried about their job and the expenses of their daily life. Therefore, it seems that policy makers have to design a plan to support tobacco growers for changing tobacco with a safe cultivate.
PMCID: PMC4089143  PMID: 25013825
Frame-work convention on tobacco control; policy makers; tobacco growers
4.  Indicators Developed to Evaluate the International Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Iran; A Grounded Theory Study 
Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences  2014;39(2 Suppl):213-217.
This study aimed to develop indicators for evaluating the implementation of The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in Iran. We used the “grounded theory” framework. Totally, 265 policy-makers, stakeholders, and community members were recruited by purposeful sampling in 2008. After analyzing the gathered data, 251 indicators, including 82 indicators as “applied indicators”, were derived from second-level codes for three groups. A suitable evaluation questionnaire can be designed based on the extracted indicators for policy makers, stakeholders, and the community to follow the implementation of the FCTC in Iran.
PMCID: PMC3993040  PMID: 24753645
Program evaluation; Tobacco; Iran
5.  Behavioral determinants of cardiovascular diseases risk factors: A qualitative directed content analysis 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(2):71-81.
The PRECEDE model is a useful tool for planers to assess health problems, the behavioral and environmental causes of the problems, and their determinants. This study aims to understand the experiences of patients and health care providers about the behavioral causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) risk factors and their determinants.
This qualitative study utilized content analysis approach based on the PRECEDE model. The study was conducted for over 6 months in 2012 at the diabetes units of health centers associated with Alborz University of Medical Sciences, which is located in Karaj, Iran. Data were collected using individual semi-structured interviews with 50 patients and 12 health care providers. Data analysis was performed simultaneously with data collection using the content analysis directed method.
Stress, unhealthy eating, and physical inactivity were the behaviors, which predict the risk factors for CVD. Most of the patients considered stress as the most important underlying cause of their illness. In this study, 110 of the primary codes were categorized into seven subcategories, including knowledge, attitude, perceived susceptibility, severity, perceived benefits, barriers, and self-efficacy, which were located in the predisposing category of the PRECEDE model. Among these determinants, perceived barriers and self-efficacy for the mentioned behaviors seemed to be of great importance.
Identifying behavioral determinants will help the planners design future programs and select the most appropriate methods and applications to address these determinants in order to reduce risky behaviors.
PMCID: PMC4144369  PMID: 25161674
Behavior; Cardiovascular Diseases; Risk Factors; Qualitative Research
6.  The sustainability of interventions of a community-based trial on children and adolescents’ healthy lifestyle 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(2):107-117.
Sustainability is the core of a successful health-related intervention program. This study was conducted to evaluate the sustainability of interventions of the Heart Health Promotion from Childhood (HHPC) project, one of the 10 interventional projects of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program.
The evaluation of HHPC included administrating surveys to 500 elementary and middle, and 500 high school students. The study participants were randomly selected from all schools in Isfahan. The questionnaires were administered by interviews to evaluate the sustainability of interventions.
The results of interviews showed that interventions were sustainable in 100% of elementary school, 99% of middle school, and 87% of high school students. Training of healthy lifestyle behaviors was significantly higher in all-girls middle schools (P < 0.001). Daily morning exercise was more frequent in girls high schools (P < 0.001), while selling unhealthy food was more frequent in boys high schools (P < 0.001). The participants attributed the success of the program mostly to students’ agreement and cooperation.
Even though 5 years have passed since the end of the HHPC project, many of the interventions have been continued at the schools, often because healthy behaviors have become institutionalized in the target population. However, now all schools have the same level of sustainability, especially the middle and high schools, and all-boys schools. Therefore, it is important for future projects to place additional emphasis on these institutions for future school-based interventions.
PMCID: PMC4144372  PMID: 25161679
Behavior; Community Health Planning; Institutionalization; Schools; Sustainability
7.  Prediction of short-term clinical outcome of percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with acute coronary syndrome through myeloperoxidase levels 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(2):100-106.
The present study assessed the significance of troponin and myeloperoxidase levels in the prediction of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) during the 1st month after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
This prospective, longitudinal study included 100 patients with acute coronary syndrome who underwent PCI. The participants’ characteristics were recorded in a questionnaire. Blood samples were obtained before and 24 h after PCI, and troponin, and myeloperoxidase levels were measured. During the 1st month after PCI, death, myocardial reinfarction, and revascularization during admission were investigated through weekly phone calls. The value of troponin and myeloperoxidase levels before and after PCI in predicting MACE was evaluated using Cox regression.
Considering the obtained methods and the short duration of the study, 99% of the patients completed the study. Moreover, one death and four cases of myocardial infarction and revascularization were reported. Cox regression did not show significant relations between the incidence of MACE and myeloperoxidase levels before (hazard ratio = 1.12; 95% confidence interval 0.9, 1.39) and after PCI (hazard ratio = 0.86; 95% confidence interval = 0.43, 1.71), or troponin levels before (hazard ratio = 0.97; 95% confidence interval = 0.81, 1.17) and after PCI (hazard ratio = 1.03; 95% confidence interval = 0.96, 1.11).
It seems that the few cases of MACE, due to the small sample size and short duration of follow-up, had been insufficient for determining the predictive value of troponin and myeloperoxidase levels before and after PCI. Therefore, further studies with larger sample size and longer follow-up duration are recommended.
PMCID: PMC4144374  PMID: 25161678
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention; Acute Coronary Syndrome; Major Adverse Cardiac Events; Myeloperoxidase
8.  Determinants of uncontrolled hypertension in an Iranian population 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):25-31.
Uncontrolled hypertension, a major concern among hypertensive patients, may be caused by various factors such as inadequate knowledge and inappropriate attitude, unhealthy lifestyle, and ineffective treatment. The present study tried to cast light on factors leading to uncontrolled hypertension.
In this cross-sectional study, all hypertensive participants of the third phase of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program were contacted and invited to take part in the study. A questionnaire including knowledge of and attitude toward hypertension and its control and treatment methods, and practice about lifestyle and pharmacological treatment was completed for all patients who consented to participate. The participants’ anthropometric indices and blood pressure were then measured. Chi-square and Student’s t-tests were used to compare the groups with controlled and uncontrolled blood pressure. The effect of each factor on uncontrolled blood pressure was assessed by employing stepwise logistic regression.
Of 114 participants, 43 (37.12%) and 71 (62.28%) individuals had controlled and uncontrolled blood pressure, respectively. Stepwise logistic regression revealed body mass index > 25 kg/m2 to have the greatest effects on uncontrolled blood pressure [Odds ratio (OR) = 13.091, Confidence interval of 95% (95% CI): 1.437-116.352, P = 0.021). In addition, male gender increased the risk for uncontrolled blood pressure (OR = 8.475, CI95%: 1.276-56.313, P = 0.027), while inappropriate attitude decreased the mentioned risk (OR = 0.047, CI95%: 0.007-0.318, P = 0.002).
According to our findings, obesity is the most important cause of uncontrolled blood pressure. Therefore, weight has to be closely monitored and controlled in hypertensive patients.
PMCID: PMC4063514  PMID: 24963310
Uncontrolled Hypertension; Obesity; Attitude
9.  Does significant weight reduction in men with coronary artery disease manage risk factors after cardiac rehabilitation program? 
Vast majority of cardiac patients who refer to cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) are obese and obesity is associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). So, the aim of this study is to investigate the effects of CRP on obesity indexes, lipid profiles, and functional capacity (FC) in obese men with CHD and to explore whether significant weight reduction affected these risk factors and FC or not.
Materials and Methods:
In an observational study, we evaluated 536 patients, including 464 non-obese men and 72 obese men. All participants completed CRP for 2 months; then, obese patients were divided into two groups: patients with weight reduction ≥ 5% and patients who didn’t have significant weight reduction. Data were analyzed with SPSS software version 15. For comparing the mean of outcomes independent t-tests and paired t-tests were used.
Results showed following CRP, non-obese men had significant improvement in obesity indexes (P = 0.00), lipid profiles (P < 0.05), and FC (P = 0.00) and in obese men, favorable improvement were seen in obesity indexes (P = 0.00), FC (P = 0.00), and total cholesterol (P = 0.02). Comparing two groups revealed that there were significant differences in obesity indexes, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. In addition, comparing subgroup of obese patients revealed that there were significant differences in FC (P = 0.00) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/ high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (P = 0.04).
CRP has more advantage in management of obesity, FC, and lipid profiles in both obese and non-obese patients. Also, weight reduction may cause greater improvement in FC and fitness levels in obese men with CHD.
PMCID: PMC3906786  PMID: 24523781
Coronary artery disease; obesity; risk factor cardiac rehabilitation program; weight reduction
10.  Effects of streptokinase on reflow in rescue percutaneous coronary intervention 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):22-28.
Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) is the preferred treatment method for ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). However, the required equipments are not available in all hospitals. Thus, due to shortage of time, some patients receive thrombolysis therapy first. Patients with chest pain and/or persistent ST segment elevation will then undergo rescue percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The present study evaluated and compared the frequency of no-reflow phenomenon and 24-hour complications after PCI among patients who underwent PPCI or rescue PCI.
This cross-sectional study assessed no-reflow phenomenon, 24-hour complications, and thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) flow in patients admitted to Chamran Hospital (Isfahan, Iran) with a diagnosis of STEMI during March-September, 2011. Subjects underwent PPCI if they had received eptifibatide. Rescue PCI was performed if patients had chest pain and/or persistent ST segment elevation despite receiving streptokinase (SK). Demographic characteristics, history of diseases, medicine, angiography findings, PCI type, and complications during the first 24 hours following PCI were collected. Data was then analyzed by Student’s t-test, chi-square test, and logistic regression analysis.
A total number of 143 individuals, including 67 PPCI cases (46.9%) and 76 cases of rescue PCI (53.1%), were evaluated. The mean age of the participants was 58.92 ± 11.16 years old. Females constituted 18.2% (n = 26) of the whole population. No-reflow phenomenon was observed in 51 subjects (37.1%). Although 9 patients (6.3%) died during the first 24 hours after PCI, neither the crude nor the model adjusted for age and gender revealed significant relations between rescue PCI and death or no-reflow phenomenon. Rescue PCI and no-reflow phenomenon were not significantly correlated even after adjustments for age, gender, history of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, smoking, platelets number, myocardial infarction level, the extent of stenosis, and the involved artery.
According to the present study, although SK is more effective than eptifibatide in resolution of thrombosis and clots, rescue PCI did not differ from PPCI in terms of the incidence of no-reflow phenomenon or short-term complications.
PMCID: PMC3653257  PMID: 23696756
Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention; Rescue Percutaneous Coronary Intervention; No-Reflow Phenomenon
11.  Physical activity, sex, and socioeconomic status: A population based study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):51-60.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate physical activity by socioeconomic status (SES) and sex in an Iranian adult population.
In a cross-sectional study, 6622 adults, who participated in the Isfahan Healthy Heart program (IHHP) surveys in 2004 and 2005 and were living in urban areas, were studied. Daily leisure time, household, occupational, and transportation physical activity, and total physical activity were calculated and compared in 3 socioeconomic status groups classified by the two-step cluster analysis procedure.
Statistically significant variations were found in all physical activity levels, except transportation, by sex. Men were more active than women in all fields, except household physical activity. Leisure time physical activity of men and women were significantly higher in higher SES levels. There was an opposite correlation between SES and total physical activity in men.
Considering the importance of physical activity as a component of a healthy lifestyle, differences among varying socioeconomic status and sex must be considered while planning for healthy lifestyle programs. Women with low SES, in particular, may need more attention.
PMCID: PMC3653259  PMID: 23696760
Physical Activity; Socioeconomic Status; Leisure Time; Gender; Cluster Analysis
12.  Parental perceptions of weight status of their children 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):61-69.
Understanding the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of parents is important for planning appropriately to control their children’s weight. We aimed to study these variables in parents of normal, underweight, overweight, and obese children.
This cross-sectional study targeted the parents of normal, underweight, overweight, and obese children, who were selected using multistage random sampling method. The parents’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about the weight status of their children, weight management, obesity, diet, lifestyle, and related psychosocial factors were evaluated using a validated questionnaire. The questionnaire, which had been validated, consisted of 12 demographic, 8 knowledge, 19 attitude and beliefs, and 25 behavior questions. Mean knowledge, attitude and beliefs, and behavior scores were compared across three subgroups of parents. Student’s independent t-test, ANOVA, and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to study the correlation between different demographic and socioeconomic factors, and the studied variables.
90% of parents were aware that obesity is a disease, and 92% knew that eating too much fast food would lead to obesity in children. Only 5% assumed that obese children are healthier than non-obese children. The mean scores of the three subgroups showed no significant difference in knowledge, attitude and beliefs, and behavior. Families with fathers, whose education level was higher than high school diploma, rated their children’s weight status as overweight or obese significantly less than families with fathers, whose education level was high school diploma or lower (8.5% vs. 16.5%, respectively, P = 0.014). Only 12% of parents tried to help their children lose weight at least once, and only 6% arranged sport activities for the family members. In 57% and 41% of families, the child, respectively, decided how much time was enough to watch TV, and how much chocolates and sweets to eat. 46% of children watched TV for more than 2 hours/day, and 49% of children watched TV while eating meals. The mean total score of boys’ parents was significantly lower than that of girls’ parents (P < 0.05). Families with low income, with no medical insurance, or not owning a house thought that the cost of registration in sport activities for children was too high (P < 0.03).
Some parents unreasonably rated the weight status of their children as overweight/obese. It is suggested that further studies be carried out to evaluate and improve parents’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding their children’s weight.
PMCID: PMC3653261  PMID: 23696761
Children; Obesity; Overweight; Knowledge; Attitude; Belief; Behavior
13.  Is prehypertension a risk factors for cardiovascular diseases among Iranian women? 
Numerous studies have reported prehypertension (pre-HTN) as a risk factor for the cardiovascular diseases as hypertension (HTN).
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of pre-HTN on cardiovascular incidences among the females of Isfahan cohort study (ICS).
Materials and Methods:
Healthy female at baseline were followed for a median of 6.7 years. They were divided into 3 groups of normal blood pressure, pre-HTN (120/80 < BP < 139/89 mmHg) and HTN (BP > 140/90 mmHg) based on their baseline measurements. The endpoints were ischemic heart disease (IHD), stroke, CVD (combination of IHD and stroke) and mortality.
Normal BP, pre-HTN and HTN were observed in 1073 (33%), 1185 (36%), and 994 (31%) participants, respectively. One hundred and ninety-eight subjects developed CVDs and 110 died. In the HTN group, the hazard ratio [HRs (95% confidence interval)] adjusted for age and other risk factors were 3.44 (1.95–6.09) for IHD (P value < 0.001), 1.28 (0.59–2.77) for stroke (P value = 0.536) 4.89 (1.37–17.45) for CVD mortality (P value < 0.001) and 1.70 (0.98–2.96) for all cause mortality (P value = 0.060). Although, pre-HTN significantly increased the risk of IHD incidence in the crude model (HR 2.21, 95% CI 1.23–3.97) and after adjustments for age (HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.02–3.33), (P value < 0.001) the association did not remain statistically significant after including other risk factors in the model.
Hypertension (HTN) to be a strong risk factor for CVD and IHD. However, in contrast to previous researches, pre-HTN was not found to be a risk factor for CVD, IHD or death independent to other risk factors in women.
PMCID: PMC3698654  PMID: 23825995
Cardiovascular disease; cohort study; coronary artery disease; hypertension; mortality; prehypertension
14.  Effects of occupational exposure to lead on left ventricular echocardio graphic variables 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):130-135.
Lead contamination can affect many body organs including the heart. This study assessed a number of echocardiographic indices to clarify the effects of lead on cardiac function among battery factory workers who are in constant exposure to lead.
In a cross-sectional study, 142 male battery factory workers who had been exposed to lead for at least 1 year were evaluated. The subjects aged 25-55 years old and were excluded if they had hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases. Demographic characteristics, professional profile, lead exposure, history of respiratory diseases, drugs intake, and lifestyle information of the participants were collected. Height, weight and blood pressure measurements were then performed. Blood tests were also ordered to determine blood lead levels. The subjects finally underwent M-mode and Doppler echocardiography. Linear regression analysis was used to establish the effects of lead on the target indices. All statistical analyses were conducted in SPSS18.
The mean age and mean duration of lead exposure of the subjects were 41.78 ± 13.58 and 23.54 ± 14.44 years, respectively. The mean blood lead level was 7.59 ± 2.75 µg/dl. Left ventricular hypertrophy was detected in 12% of the participants. Blood lead levels were not significantly related with echocardiographic indices in the crude model or after adjustments for age alone or for age and other risk factors.
Blood lead levels of our participants were below standard values. In addition, no significant relation was found between left ventricular function indices and blood lead levels. The absence of such relations could have been caused by the exclusion of individuals with hypertension or cardiovascular diseases. Structural modifications in battery factories following legislations in Iran might have been responsible for low blood lead levels among the subjects.
PMCID: PMC3557007  PMID: 23358898
Occupational Exposure; Lead; Left Ventricular Echocardiography
15.  Is there any difference between non-obese male and female in response to cardiac rehabilitation programs? 
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death and disability all over the world. A sedentary lifestyle and dyslipidemia are known to be the major risk factors, which play an important role in the progression of coronary artery disease. Regarding gender differences, the risk of developing coronary heart disease is recognized as being different between non-obese males and non-obese females. Hence, the aim of this study is to assess the benefits of a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) on the functional capacity and lipid profiles, such as, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol in non-obese males and non-obese females with coronary artery disease, and comparing these groups.
Materials and Methods:
We evaluated 585 non-obese males and females with coronary artery disease. All the participants completed the cardiac rehabilitation program for two months, which included 24 exercise training sessions, medical evaluation, and consultation. For investigation of the effects of the cardiac rehabilitation program on the functional capacity and lipid profiles, exercise tests were carried out by each patient, and also, their blood samples were taken on entrance and at the end of this period.
The findings, following 24 sessions in the cardiac rehabilitation program, showed that the functional capacity (P = 0.00) and all lipid profiles had significantly improved in both the groups, except that the high density lipoprotein cholesterol did not show a significant difference in non-obese females. In addition, comparing the two groups did not show any significant differences in lipid profiles, but the changes in functional capacity were significant (P = 0.00) between the two groups, following the cardiac rehabilitation program.
The CRP, which was performed by the patients under supervision of a physician and an exercise physiologist, plays a key role in improving the functional capacity (FC) and all lipid profiles in non-obese males and females with coronary artery disease, without any attention to gender differences.
PMCID: PMC3687888  PMID: 23798948
Cardiac rehabilitation program; coronary artery disease; gender; risk factor
16.  Gender differences in risk factors of obese patients after cardiac rehabilitation program 
Obesity is common in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the vast majority of patients entering into cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) are obese. Regarding the gender differences, the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) is recognized to be different between obese men and women. So, the purpose of this study was to explore the effect of CRP in functional capacity (FC) and risk factors, such as obesity indexes, lipid profiles, and fasting blood sugar (FBS) in obese men and women with CHD.
Marterials and Methods:
In an observational study between 2000 and 2011, we evaluated a total of 156 obese men and women patients with CHD who were referred to cardiac rehabilitation of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute. Before and after CRP, FC and risk factors were assessed and all the participants completed this period. Data were analyzed with SPSS software version 15. For comparing the mean of outcomes, independent t tests and paired sample t tests were used.
Data revealed, after CRP, obese women had significant improvement in most evaluated risk factors except total cholesterol (P = 0.05) and FBS (P = 0.09); and obese men had favorable changes in weight (P = 0.00) and body mass index (P = 0.00), FC (P = 0.00) and total cholesterol (P = 0.02); in spite of no significant differences in other lipid profiles. Comparing the 2 groups did not show any significant differences unless high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.01) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (P = 0.02) had greater improvement in obese women.
We concluded that CRP is an important step initiating the process of risk reduction and restoration of FC in obese men and obese women with CHD under attendance and supervision of physician, nurse, and exercise physiologist.
PMCID: PMC3703080  PMID: 23853652
Cardiac rehabilitation program; coronary heart disease; gender; obesity; risk factor
17.  The effects of an educational program based on PRECEDE model on depression levels in patients with coronary artery bypass grafting 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(1):36-42.
Depression is among the most important barriers to proper treatment ofcardiac patients. It causes failure in accepting their conditions, decreases their motivation infollowing the therapeutic recommendations, and thus negatively affects their functionality andquality of life. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of an educational programbased on Predisposing, Reinforcing, Enabling Constructs in Educational Diagnosis andEvaluation (PRECEDE) model on depression level in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)surgery patients.
This was a quasi-experimental study in which 54 post-bypass surgery patients ofIsfahan Cardiovascular Research Center were investigated. The patients were randomly dividedinto two groups of intervention and control. The data was collected using two questionnaires.Primarily, the cardiac depression scale was used to measure the degree of depression followedby PRECEDE model-based educational questionnaire to identify the role of the educationalintervention on patients. The PRECEDE model-based intervention composed of 9 educationalsessions per week (60-90 minutes each). The patients were followed up for two months postintervention.
Following the educational intervention, mean scores of predisposing, enabling,and reinforcing factors, and self-helping behaviors significantly increased in the interventiongroup compared to the control group (P < 0.001). In addition, a significant difference in meanscores of depression was observed between the two groups following the educationalintervention (P < 0.001).
The findings of the current study confirmed the practicability and effectivenessof the PRECEDE model-based educational programs on preventing or decreasing depressionlevels in CABG patients.
PMCID: PMC3448400  PMID: 23056099
Educational Program; PRECEDE Model; Depression; Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery.
18.  Barriers and facilitators of weight management in overweight and obese people: Qualitative findings of TABASSOM project 
Since weight management is affected by various factors, including social and behavioral ones, this study aimed to explore the peoples’ experience of barriers and facilitators of weight management.
Materials and Methods:
This qualitative content analysis was conducted as the initial step of TABASSOM Study. Participants, who tried to reduce their weight at least once, were selected by purposeful sampling method from aerobic fitness clubs, parks, and public offices in Isfahan in 2010. Data saturation was reached after indepth unstructured interviews with 11 participants. Data analysis was done by conventional content analysis method.
The participants have intermittently followed weight loss program. Barriers such as physical problems, lack of motivation, lack of work and family support and lack of time have resulted in their failures and outages. The main facilitator to start or restart after stopping such programs for a while was positive psychologic effect.
Discussion and Conclusion:
Findings showed that many problems could prevent weight loss. It is important to identify obstacles that hinder weight management and regimen programs and to discuss them with people before planning for their weight management.
PMCID: PMC3696212  PMID: 23833613
Obesity; overweight; qualitative study
19.  A comprehensive model to evaluate implementation of the world health organization framework convention of tobacco control 
Iran is one of the countries that has ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC), and has implemented a series of tobacco control interventions including the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Law. Enforcement of this legislation and assessment of its outcome requires a dedicated evaluation system. This study aimed to develop a generic model to evaluate the implementation of the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Law in Iran that was provided based on WHO-FCTC articles.
Materials and Methods:
Using a grounded theory approach, qualitative data were collected from 265 subjects in individual interviews and focus group discussions with policymakers who designed the legislation, key stakeholders, and members of the target community. In addition, field observations data in supermarkets/shops, restaurants, teahouses and coffee shops were collected. Data were analyzed in two stages through conceptual theoretical coding.
Overall, 617 open codes were extracted from the data into tables; 72 level-3 codes were retained from the level-2 code series. Using a Model Met paradigm, the relationships between the components of each paradigm were depicted graphically. The evaluation model entailed three levels, namely: short-term results, process evaluation and long-term results.
Central concept of the process of evaluation is that enforcing the law influences a variety of internal and environmental factors including legislative changes. These factors will be examined during the process evaluation and context evaluation. The current model can be applicable for providing FCTC evaluation tools across other jurisdictions.
PMCID: PMC3696220  PMID: 23833621
Tobacco; framework convention of tobacco control; evaluation; model
20.  How can the results of a qualitative process evaluation be applied in management, improvement and modification of a preventive community trial? The IHHP Study 
This study reports the results of the qualitative process evaluation (PE) of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), an integrated community-based trial for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Iran.
The study explored the overall quality of program implementation. The participants, including designers of IHHP, stakeholders and community members (n = 60) were purposefully recruited from the intervention areas. Data collected from semi-structured interviews and field notes were analyzed using a modified thematic analysis.
Four main themes were identified. Our findings highlighted the key role of the resources as both facilitating and hindering factors. IHHP directors faced incompatibilities arising from negative perceptions/attitudes which resulted in decreased adherence to the program. Hence various strategies were used to motivate, strengthen and organize the human workforce implementing the program.
Recommendations arising from evaluation of the program were used in subsequent stages of implementation. Qualitative research is an important component of community trials which can improve their implementation.
PMCID: PMC3436741  PMID: 22958679
Community interventions; Health behavior; Health; Cardiovascular; program evaluation
21.  The Predictive Factors of Recurrent Deep Vein Thrombosis 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;7(3):123-128.
About 2-5% of people experience deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) during their lives. Death, disease recurrence, post-thrombotic syndrome, and excessive bleeding due to coagulant medications are among the most important DVT complications. Recent research found a high incidence of DVT recurrence after the first attack. Disease recurrence has a multifactorial pathogenesis and its probability is related with the number and severity of risk factors. The present study aimed to investigate DVT recurrence and the associated risk factors.
This retrospective cross-sectional study evaluated all DVT patients hospitalized in Alzahra Hospital, Isfahan, Iran, during April 2000 to April 2011. The risk factors were obtained from patients' records including smoking, intravenous drug abuse, having a history of surgery in last four weeks, immobility, obesity, history of cardiac disease, and cancer.
A total number of 2550 DVT patients were hospitalized in Alzahra Hospital during the study period. It was only possible to extract the data from 385 patient records. A history of DVT was reported in 48 individuals (12.5%). The comparison between the risk factors in patients with a first time DVT and those experiencing a recurrent DVT revealed significant differences solely in the prevalence of blood disorders and immobility. Applying stepwise regression indicated immobility (OR: 4.57; 95% CI: 1.26-16.57; P < 0.021) and coagulopathy (OR: 0.33; 95% CI: 0.13-0.81; P < 0.016) with DVT recurrence.
Based on our findings, DVT patients are suggested to be mobilized as soon as possible. In addition, they should be advised to increase their activity after discharge.
PMCID: PMC3347857  PMID: 22577459
Deep Vein Thrombosis; Immobility; Risk Factor
22.  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
23.  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
24.  Metabolic syndrome in menopausal transition: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, a population based study 
There is a remarkable increase in cardiovascular disease after menopause. On the other hand, metabolic syndrome as a collection of risk factors has a known effect on cardiovascular diseases. Hormone changes are considered as one of the main relevant factor regarding cardiovascular disease as well as some recognized relationship with metabolic syndrome's components. This study was carried out in order to search for prevalence of metabolic syndrome during menopausal transition.
In a cross sectional study in urban and rural areas of Isfahan, Najafabad and Arak cities, 1596 women aged more than 45 years were investigated using Isfahan Healthy Heart Program's (IHHP) samples. Participants were categorized into three groups of pre-menopause, menopause and post-menopause. Leisure time physical activity and global dietary index were included as life style factors. The association of metabolic syndrome and its components with menopausal transition considering other factors such as age and life style was analyzed.
there were 303, 233 and 987 women in premenopausal, early menopausal and postmenopausal groups respectively. Metabolic syndrome was found in 136(44.9%) premenopausal participants and significantly increased to 135(57.9%) and 634(64.3%) in early menopausal and postmenopausal participants respectively, when age was considered (P = 0.010). Except for hypertension and hypertriglyceridemia, there was no significant difference between three groups of menopausal transition when metabolic syndrome's components were considered.
In contrary to the claims regarding the role of waist circumference and blood glucose in increasing of metabolic syndrome during the menopausal transition, this study showed this phenomenon could be independence of them.
PMCID: PMC2958965  PMID: 20923542
25.  Effects of 5-Year Interventions on Cardiovascular Risk Factors of Factories and Offies Employees of Isfahan and Najafabad: Worksite Intervention Project-Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):94-101.
Effects of 5-year interventions of Worksite Intervention Project from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program on cardiovascular risk factors of factories and offices employees were studied in Isfahan and Najafabad (intervention area) compared to Arak (control area).
We had especial interventions for nutrition, physical activity and smoking as well as hypertension and obesity screening systems in all offices and factories, and other risk factors screening systems whenever possible. Before and after the interventions, questionnaires containing demographic and other required data were completed for the two populations; height, weight and blood pressure (BP) were measured and a fasting and 2h blood sample was taken for the measurement of blood sugar (BS) and lipid levels.
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, but low HDL increased in office staff (P < 0.01). Waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol mean values decreased, and diastolic BP and fasting and 2h BS increased among the intervention group. In factory workers, the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, while low HDL prevalence increased in intervention group (P < 0.001). Mean values of waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol, and triglyceride decreased significantly (P < 0.001), while diastolic BP and fasting BS increased.
It seems that Worksite Intervention Project has a protective effect on CVD risk factors in factories and offices employees. So, the modifiable project can be used as an applicable tool for health improvement in worksites which creates tangible changes in employees’ lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC3347823  PMID: 22577423
Risk Factors; Cardiovascular Disease; Workplace; Intervention

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