Data for trends in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are needed to set priorities and evaluate intervention programmes in the community. We estimated time trends in blood pressure (BP), anthropometric variables and smoking in the Vietnamese population and highlighted the differences between men and women or between rural and urban areas.
A dataset of 23,563 adults aged 25–74 from 5 cross-sectional surveys undertaken within Vietnam from 2001 to 2009 by the Vietnam National Heart Institute was used to estimate mean BP, weight, waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), the prevalence of hypertension, adiposity or smoking, which were standardised to the national age structure of 2009. Multilevel mixed linear models were used to estimate annual changes in the variables of interest, adjusted by age, sex, residential area, with random variations for age and surveyed provinces.
Among the adult population, the age-standardised mean systolic and diastolic BP increased by 0.8 and 0.3 mmHg in women, 1.1 and 0.4 mmHg in men, while the mean BMI increased by 0.1 kgm−2 in women, 0.2 kgm−2 in men per year. Consequently, the prevalence of hypertension and adiposity increased by 0.9 and 0.3% in women, 1.1 and 0.9% in men with similar time trends in both rural and urban areas, while smoking prevalence only increased in women by 0.3% per year. A U-shaped association was found between age-adjusted BP and BMI in both sexes and in both areas.
From 2001 to 2009, mean BP, weight and WC significantly increased in the Vietnamese population, leading to an increased prevalence of hypertension and adiposity, suggesting the need for the development of multi-sectoral cost-effective population-based interventions to improve CVD management and prevention. The U-shaped relationship between BP and BMI highlighted the hypertension burden in the underweight population, which is usually neglected in CVD interventions.