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1.  Women health heart project: Methodology and effect of interventional strategies on low education participants 
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most common cause of mortality and morbidity in women. Intervention programs aimed at improving the lifestyle can reduce the incidence of these diseases and their factors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the difference of the interventions impact on CVD risk factors and the women's physical and biochemical indicators based on education levels.
Materials and Methods:
As part of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program after identifying the status of women over the age of 18 and over five years, a large educational or environmental intervention was performed in different methodologies and in order to improve the lifestyle. Some organizations such as health care centers and the Literacy Campaign Organization have cooperated for low educated women. Demographic data and risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and serum lipids were investigated and compared during the first and last phase. Data were entered in SPSS-15 software and were analyzed by using T-test in two independent samples, Chi-square test and Fisher exact test.
Findings of this study showed that performing the five years interventions could reduce physical and biochemical indexes such as nutrition, lipid profile, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio in both groups (P < 0.005). In the pre-intervention phase, 6391 subjects and after the intervention 4786 women participated. After Interventions, women with higher educational levels were showed significant decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI) (P = 0.01) and dyslipidemia (P = 0.02).
The present study showed that the community-based interventions even in low-literate women could cause effective changes on improving lifestyle and CVD risk factors. Due to the greater impact of interventions in literate women, effective interventions should be considered in the society to decrease the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
PMCID: PMC4165102  PMID: 25250369
Education level; lifestyle modification; literacy movement; risk factors; women
2.  Health volunteers’ knowledge of cardiovascular disease prevention and healthy lifestyle following a community trial: Isfahan healthy heart program 
Health volunteers can have a great effect by training the population about prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and lifestyle modification. This study evaluated the health volunteers’ knowledge following the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) that was performed between 2000 and 2006.
Materials and Methods:
In this study, 491 females were selected among health volunteers in the Isfahan and Najafabad districts as intervention areas and Arak as a reference area through 2000-2001 until 2006. They participated in training courses on CVD, its complications, methods of prevention of risk factors control as well healthy lifestyle promotion. The health volunteers’ level of knowledge was assessed before and after training.
Before intervention, there was no significant difference between the scores of health volunteers in the intervention and the control regions in terms of knowledge about recognizing the symptoms, complications and prevention of CVD and relevant risk factors and healthy lifestyle. However, their knowledge scores increased significantly in the fields of CVD (β = 0.13, P = 0.04), hypertension (β = 0.18, P = 0.009), healthy nutrition (β = 0.19, P = 0.007), appropriate physical activity (β = 0.17, P = 0.01) and dealing with stress (β = 0.16, P = 0.02) after trainings.
The 6 year interventional program of IHHP showed that training health volunteers on prevention of CVD, their risk factors and modification of lifestyle continued to be effective even in a long time.
PMCID: PMC4113989  PMID: 25077152
Cardiovascular diseases; health training; health volunteers
3.  Are obese adolescents more depressed? 
Obesity is a growing problem in all countries which leads to various physical, psychological, and social problems. The present study aimed to assess depression in children and adolescents aged 10-18-year old compared with the control group.
Materials and Methods:
In a case-control study, from among the 10- to 18-year-old students of the five education districts of Isfahan, 100 people (50 girls and 50 boys) were selected as obese children with the Body Mass Index (BMI) of greater than 95th percentile for their age and gender and 100 others (50 girls and 50 boys) as the control group with the BMI of 5th to 85th percentile. The case and control groups were matched for age, gender, and socio-economic status. After calculating BMI based on weight (kg)/height2 (meter), subjects were interviewed based on DSM IV criteria to diagnose clinical depression. The severity of children's depression was measured using standardized questionnaire.
The mean age of the case group was 12.2 ± 1.86-years old and that of the control group 13.06 ± 2.25. They were, respectively, diagnosed with depression of 7% and 6%. The mean depression score of the case group was 11.7 ± 5.3 and that of the control group was 10.6 ± 6.03 with no statistical significance.
Given our findings, the Jolly fat hypothesis applies to the case group. It seems that health policy-makers need to make intervention plans to change behavior; attitude, skill, and knowledge (BASK) of the public toward obesity and its long-term side-effects.
PMCID: PMC4113990  PMID: 25077167
Adolescent; depression; obesity
4.  Cheese consumption in relation to cardiovascular risk factors among Iranian adults- IHHP Study 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2014;8(3):336-341.
It is expected that dairy products such as cheeses, which are the main source of cholesterol and saturated fat, may lead to the development or increase the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; however, the results of different studies are inconsistent. This study was conducted to assess the association between cheese consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in an Iranian adult population.
Information from the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) was used for this cross-sectional study with a total of 1,752 participants (782 men and 970 women). Weight, height, waist and hip circumference measurement, as well as fasting blood samples were gathered and biochemical assessments were done. To evaluate the dietary intakes of participants a validated food frequency questionnaire, consists of 49 items, was completed by expert technicians. Consumption of cheese was classified as less than 7 times per week and 7-14 times per week.
Higher consumption of cheese was associated with higher C-Reactive Protein (CRP), apolipoprotein A and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level but not with fasting blood sugar (FBS), total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglyceride (TG) and apolipoprotein B. Higher consumption of cheese was positively associated with consumption of liquid and solid oil, grain, pulses, fruit, vegetable, meat and dairy, and negatively associated with Global Dietary Index. After control for other potential confounders the association between cheese intake and metabolic syndrome (OR: 0.81; 96%CI: 0.71-0.94), low HDL-C level (OR: 0.87; 96%CI: 0.79-0.96) and dyslipidemia (OR: 0.88; 96%CI: 0.79-0.98) became negatively significant.
This study found an inverse association between the frequency of cheese intake and cardiovascular risk factors; however, further prospective studies are required to confirm the present results and to illustrate its mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC4058569  PMID: 24944780
Cheese consumption; cardiovascular risk factors; food frequency questionnaire
5.  Relationship between Metabolic Syndrome and Its Components with Psychological Distress 
Background. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and psychological distress are hypothesized to have a bidirectional relationship. According to their high prevalence in most populations, appraisal of this theory would be of great clinical and research interest. Methods. Data were available as part of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP). A total of 9553 men and women aged ≥19 years from three counties in central Iran were selected. Measurements consisted of serologic tests, anthropometrics, and self-reported 12-item general health questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was used to find the association between MetS, MetS components, and distress level. Results. The mean age of 9553 participants (50% male) was 38.7 ± 15.8 years. After adjusting for demographic factors, MetS (OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.01–1.37), central obesity (OR = 1.40, 95% CI: 1.15–1.49), and hypertension (OR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.42–1.70) were associated with high distress level. However, after adding smoking status and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to the adjustment factors, hypertension (OR = 1.79, 95% CI: 1.53–1.98) and central obesity (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.17–1.55), but not the MetS, remained significantly associated with distress level. Conclusion. The presence of association between the MetS as well as its key components and high distress level signifies the importance of integrating psychological assessment and intervention in the standard management of MetS patients.
PMCID: PMC3941148  PMID: 24672543
6.  Seasonal pattern in admissions and mortality from acute myocardial infarction in elderly patients in Isfahan, Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):46-54.
Seasonal variation in admissions and mortality due to acute myocardial infarction has been observed in different countries. Since there are scarce reports about this variation in Iran, this study was carried out to determine the existence of seasonal rhythms in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction, and in mortality due to acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in elderly patients in Isfahan city.
This prospective hospital-based study included a total of 3990 consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction admitted to 13 hospitals from January 2002 to December 2007. Seasonal variations were analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier table, log rank test, and Cox regression model.
There was a statistically significant relationship between the occurrence of heart disease based on season and type of acute myocardial infarction anatomical (P < 0.001). The relationship between the occurrence of death and season and type of AMI according to International Classification of Diseases code 10 (ICD) was also observed and it was statistically significant (P = 0.026). Hazard ratio for death from acute myocardial infarction were 0.96 [Confidence interval of 95% (95% CI) = 0.78-1.18], 0.9 (95%CI = 0.73-1.11), and 1.04 (95%CI = 0.85-1.26) during spring, summer, and winter, respectively.
There is seasonal variation in hospital admission and mortality due to AMI; however, after adjusting in the model only gender and age were significant predictor factors.
PMCID: PMC4063513  PMID: 24963314
Acute Myocardial Infarction; Season; Admission in Hospital; Mortality; Isfahan
7.  The Impacts of Cardiac Rehabilitation Program on Echocardiographic Parameters in Coronary Artery Disease Patients with Left Ventricular Dysfunction 
Introduction. The accurate impact of exercise on coronary artery disease (CAD) patients with left ventricular dysfunction is still debatable. We studied the effects of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) on echocardiography parameters in CAD patients with ventricular dysfunction. Methods. Patients with CAD who had ventricular dysfunction were included into an exercise-based rehabilitation program and received rehabilitation for eight weeks. All subjects underwent echocardiography before and at the end of the rehabilitation program. The echocardiography parameters, including left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), LV end-diastolic (LVEDD) and end-systolic diameters (LVESD), and peak exercise capacity measured in metabolic equivalents (METs), were assessed. Results. Seventy patients (mean age = 57.5 ± 10.2 years, 77.1% males) were included into the study. At the end of rehabilitation period, the LVEF increased from 45.14 ± 5.77% to 50.44 ± 8.70% (P < 0.001), and the peak exercise capacity increased from 8.00 ± 2.56 to 10.08 ± 3.00 METs (P < 0.001). There was no significant change in LVEDD (54.63 ± 12.96 to 53.86 ± 8.95 mm, P = 0.529) or in LVESD (38.91 ± 10.83 to 38.09 ± 9.04 mm, P = 0.378) after rehabilitation. Conclusion. Exercise training in postmyocardial infarction patients with ventricular dysfunction could have beneficial effects on cardiac function without adversely affecting LV remodeling or causing serious cardiac complications.
PMCID: PMC3891233  PMID: 24459599
8.  Methodology of Isfahan Tobacco Use Prevention Program: First Phase 
Background. Tobacco use continues to be the leading global cause of preventable death. The majority of smokers begin using tobacco products at teen ages. The aims of this study were providing a methodology of Isfahan Tobacco Use Prevention Program and investigating the prevalence of tobacco use and its related factors. Method. It was a cross-sectional study among guidance and high school students in Isfahan province. Initiation, social, psychological (depression and self-efficacy), family, and attitudinal and belief factors and school policy toward smoking (cigarettes and water-pipe) were investigated. Saliva qutinin was given from 5% of participants for determination of accuracy of responses. A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was used for gathering all data. Results. Of all 5500 questionnaires distributed, about 5408 completed questionnaires were returned (with response rate of 98.3%). Of all participants, 2702 (50.0%) were girls and 2706 (50.0%) were boys. Respectively, 4811 (89.0%) and 597 (11.0%) were from urban and rural. Of all participants, 2445 (45.2%) were guidance school and 2962 (54.8%) were high school students. Conclusion. This study will provide a unique opportunity to study prevalence of smoking cigarettes and water-pipe (ghelyan) among guidance and high school students in Isfahan province and determine the role of initiation, social, psychological, family, and attitudinal and belief factors and school policy toward smoking.
PMCID: PMC3870653  PMID: 24383007
9.  Developing an appropriate model for self-care of hypertensive patients: first experience from EMRO 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(4):232-240.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) constitute 53% of deaths above the age of 30; 54% of these deaths are attributed to high blood pressure. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of mortality in the world. Hypertension accounts for 13% of mortalities and 6% of morbidities and is one of the main risk factors that cause loss of healthy life years. Blood pressure is not optimally controlled even among those who are aware of their disease. Previous studies showed that apart from pharmacological treatment, lifestyle improvement can also play a significant role in the prevention of high blood pressure CVDs. Self-care among them has been addressed in several previous studies. There are few self-care programs in Iran, but no study has been conducted on blood pressure.
In this study the primary model is designed and then revised, and in the pilot study the feasibility of the project was approved and the final model presented.
The current project proposes a model for self-care of hypertensive patients and their families, and is based on education of health care providers and patients in such a way that patients can control their illness.
The model can be implemented at a national scale.
PMCID: PMC3746943  PMID: 23970918
Self-Care; Hypertension; Model
10.  Effects of Pioglitazone on Asymmetric Dimethylarginine and Components of the Metabolic Syndrome in Nondiabetic Patients (EPICAMP Study): A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial 
PPAR Research  2013;2013:358074.
The present trial aimed to investigate the effects of pioglitazone on the serum level of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a marker of endothelial function, and some indices of inflammation and glucose and lipid metabolism in nondiabetic metabolic syndrome patients. 104 eligible participants (57% female; age between 20 and 70) were enrolled in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial and were randomized to receive either pioglitazone (uptitrated to 30 mg/day) or matching placebo for 24 weeks. Participants were clinically examined and a blood sample was obtained at baseline and at the end of the trial. Pioglitazone significantly improved C-reactive protein level irrespective of changes in insulin sensitivity. Compared with the placebo group, alanine and aspartate transaminases were decreased and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was increased after treatment with pioglitazone. A considerably greater weight gain was also recorded in the intervention group. We failed to observe any significant changes in serum ADMA in either group and between groups with and without adjustment for age, sex, and components of the metabolic syndrome. In a nutshell, pioglitazone seems to have positive effects on lipid profile, liver transaminases, and systemic inflammation. However, its previously demonstrated endothelial function-improving properties do not seem to be mediated by ADMA.
PMCID: PMC3654334  PMID: 23710164
11.  Association of apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A, and the its ratio with body fat distribution 
To evaluate the association of apolipoprotein B (apoB), apolipoprotein A (apoA), and apoB/apoA ratio with the body fat indicators in patients with stable angina pectoris (SA).
Materials and Methods:
One hundred and twenty two participants aged 40-60 years old, with a mean age of 52.1 ± 7.2 years and SA, were recruited for the present study. Body weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) were measured, and waist to height ratio (WHtR) was calculated. After 12 hours of fasting, a blood sample was obtained and serum levels of apoB and apoA were measured and the apoB/apoA ratio was calculated. These patients underwent an abdominal computerized tomography scan (CTS) to assess visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT, SAT). Linear regressions were computed to assess the relation of apoB, apoA, and their ratio with various measurements of adiposity (VAT, SAT, WC, and WHtR), with adjustment for age, sex, and BMI ≥ 25, WC ≥ 80 in women and WC ≥ 90 in men and WHtR ≥ 0.59.
From totally 123 patients with SA with a mean age of 52.1 ± 7.2 years, 44.7% male and 55.3% women were entered. Significant positive associations were found between visceral fat area and the apoB/apoA ratio (P = 0.02, β = 0.2), and significant negative correlations were observed between visceral fat area and apoA concentrations (P = 0.04, β = −0.2).
As abdominal fat accumulation is associated with other risk factors such as apolipoproteins in ischemic patients, then we most focus on control of these factors.
PMCID: PMC3793379  PMID: 24124431
Apolipoprotein A; apolipoprotein B; apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A; cardiovascular disease; intra-abdominal fat
12.  Validation of the Revised Stressful Life Event Questionnaire Using a Hybrid Model of Genetic Algorithm and Artificial Neural Networks 
Objectives. Stressors have a serious role in precipitating mental and somatic disorders and are an interesting subject for many clinical and community-based studies. Hence, the proper and accurate measurement of them is very important. We revised the stressful life event (SLE) questionnaire by adding weights to the events in order to measure and determine a cut point. Methods. A total of 4569 adults aged between 18 and 85 years completed the SLE questionnaire and the general health questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12). A hybrid model of genetic algorithm (GA) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) was applied to extract the relation between the stressful life events (evaluated by a 6-point Likert scale) and the GHQ score as a response variable. In this model, GA is used in order to set some parameter of ANN for achieving more accurate results. Results. For each stressful life event, the number is defined as weight. Among all stressful life events, death of parents, spouse, or siblings is the most important and impactful stressor in the studied population. Sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 81% were obtained for the cut point 100. Conclusion. The SLE-revised (SLE-R) questionnaire despite simplicity is a high-performance screening tool for investigating the stress level of life events and its management in both community and primary care settings. The SLE-R questionnaire is user-friendly and easy to be self-administered. This questionnaire allows the individuals to be aware of their own health status.
PMCID: PMC3580934  PMID: 23476715
13.  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
14.  Social norms of cigarette and hookah smokers in Iranian universities 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):45-50.
First experiences of tobacco use usually occur in adolescence. The recognition of social norms leading to youth smoking is hence necessary. We tried to assess the social norms among Iranian young cigarette and hookah smokers.
This cross-sectional study was conducted on 451 girls and 361 boys aging 20-25 years old who entered Isfahan and Kashan Universities (Iran) in 2007. Demographic factors (age, gender, and age at smoking onset) cigarette and hookah smoking status, having a smoking father or smoking friends and four related social norms were recorded. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to separately determine associations between hookah and cigarette smoking and the four social norm variables.
Cigarette and hookah smokers had significant differences with nonsmokers in two social norms: “Perceived smoking by important characters” [odds ratio (OR) = 1.35 in cigarette smokers and 1.58 in hookah smokers; P < 0.001] and “smoking makes gatherings friendly” (OR = 3.62 in cigarette smokers and 6.16 in hookah smokers; P < 0.001). Furthermore, cigarette and hookah smoking were significantly associated with having smoking friends.
Highlighting the social norms leading to cigarette and hookah smoking may help policy makers develop comprehensive interventions to prevent smoking among adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3653255  PMID: 23696759
Cigarette; Hookah; Smoking; Social Norm
15.  The effectiveness of stress management intervention in a community-based program: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):176-183.
This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of stress management training in improving the ability of coping with stress in a large population.
Five cross-sectional studies using multistage cluster random sampling were performed on adults aged ≥ 19 years between 2000 to 2005 in Isfahan and Najafabad (Iran) as intervention cities and Arak, Iran as the control city within the context of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Stress management training was adapted according to age and education levels of the target groups. In a 45-minute home interview, demographic data, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and stress management questionnaires were collected. Data was analyzed by t-test, linear regression and general linear model.
Trends of both adaptive and maladaptive coping skills and GHQ scores from baseline to the last survey were statistically significant in both intervention and reference areas (P < 0.001). While adaptive coping skills increased significantly, maladaptive coping skills decreased significantly in the intervention areas. Furthermore, stress levels decreased significantly in the intervention compared to the reference area.
Stress management programs could improve coping strategies at the community level and can be considered in designing behavioral interventions
PMCID: PMC3413087  PMID: 23205052
Stress Management; Community; Intervention; Coping Strategies
16.  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
17.  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
18.  Psychological Status and Quality of Life in relation to the Metabolic Syndrome: Isfahan Cohort Study 
Objective. Current study was designed to investigate the association of metabolic syndrome (MetS) with depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and quality of life (QoL). Design. Two hundred and fifteen contributors with MetS and 253 participants without MetS were randomly selected from 2151 participants of Isfahan Cohort Study who were residents of Isfahan city. Measurements consisted of fasting blood samples, anthropometrics, and self-reported data of 12-item General Health Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and European Quality of Life-5 Dimension. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to find the association between MetS and four psychological factors. Results. Participants mean age was 56.3 ± 9.8 years. Male/female ratio was 0.86 (217/251). Mean score of depression (P = 0.003), anxiety (P = 0.018), distress (P = 0.047), and QoL (P ≤ 0.001) was significantly higher in MetS group. There were significant increasing relationships between depression (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.03–1.22), anxiety (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.05–1.11), and QoL (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.05–1.23) and MetS when associations were adjusted for other risk factors, but it was not the case for distress (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.99–1.08). Conclusion. It might be better to consider MetS as a combination of biological and psychological risk factors. Thus, a person with metabolic disease should be recognized as a patient with these factors and be screened for all of them.
PMCID: PMC3363984  PMID: 22675350
19.  Stress Level and Smoking Status in Central Iran: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;6(4):144-148.
Individuals are faced with numerous stressful life events which can negatively influence mental health. Many individuals use smoking as a means of confronting stress. Given the relatively high prevalence of smoking in central Iran, the present study was conducted to compare stress levels in smokers, non-smokers and those who had quit smoking.
This study was conducted as part of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Program on 9752 individuals in the cities of Isfahan, Arak, and Najafabad in 2008. Sampling was performed using multi-stage cluster randomization method. Data on age, sex, demographic characteristics, and smoking status was collected through interviews. Stress level detected by General Health questionnaire.Logistic regression and chi- squere test was used for data analyzing.
In the present study, 30% of non-smokers, 32.1% ex- smoker and 36.9% of smokers had GHQ of 4 and higher (P=0.01). In regression analysis, the final model which was controlled for age, sex, socioeconomic statues (including place of residence, marital status and education level) showed that the odds ratio of stress in smokers and ex- smoker was significantly higher than in non-smokers (OR=1.66 and OR=1.12, respectively).
Since in conducted studies, mental problems and stresses have had an important role in people's smoking, it seems suitable to use the results of this study to present intervention for correct methods of coping with stress towards reducing the prevalence of smoking in the community.
PMCID: PMC3347833  PMID: 22577433
Cigarette; Stress; Community-based Program.
20.  Smoking cessation support in Iran: Availability, sources & predictors 
Background & objectives:
Smoking cessation advice is known as an important factor in motivating smokers to quit smoking. We investigated the extent, sources and predictors of receiving unsolicited advice and seeking active advice for smoking cessation in Iran.
A cross-sectional study was performed as a part of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) on 9093 adult individuals (both men and women) in 2004-2005. Demographic characteristics, smoking status, sources and preferences for smoking cessation support were recorded.
In the studied population, 66.8 and 14.4 per cent had received and asked for cessation support, respectively. Smokers had received advice from family (92.2%), friends (48.9%), physician (27.9%) and other health care providers (16.2%). Smokers had asked for cessation help more frequently from family (64.5%) and friends (42.0%). Women (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.37-0.94) and singles (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.36-0.71) received less advice. Hookah smokers received (OR: 0.23; 95% CI: 0.14-0.38) and asked (OR: 0.21; 95% CI: 0.06-0.68) for cessation help less than cigarette smokers. Receiving advice increased the odds of seeking support (OR: 7.98; 95% CI: 4.37-14.57).
Interpretation & conclusions:
Smokers’ family and friends were more frequent sources for smoking cessation support. Tobacco control programmes can count on smokers’ family and friends as available sources for smoking cessation support in countries where smoking cessation counselling services are less available. However, the role of physicians and health care workers in the smoking cessation counselling needs to be strengthened.
PMCID: PMC3135990  PMID: 21727661
Cigarettes; hookah; Iran; smoking; smoking cessation
21.  Relationship between depression and apolipoproteins A and B: a case–control study 
Clinics  2011;66(1):113-117.
To investigate the relation between major depressive disorder and metabolic risk factors of coronary heart disease.
Little evidence is available indicating a relationship between major depressive disorder and metabolic risk factors of coronary heart disease such as lipoprotein and apolipoprotein.
This case–control study included 153 patients with major depressive disorder who fulfilled the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM‐IV), and 147 healthy individuals. All participants completed a demographic questionnaire and Hamilton rating scale for depression. Anthropometric characteristics were recorded. Blood samples were taken and total cholesterol, high‐ and low‐density lipoproteins and apolipoproteins A and B were measured. To analyze the data, t‐test, χ2 test, Pearson correlation test and linear regression were applied.
Depression was a negative predictor of apolipoprotein A (β = −0.328, p<0.01) and positive predictor of apolipoprotein B (β = 0.290, p<0.05). Apolipoprotein A was inversely predicted by total cholesterol (β = −0.269, p<0.05) and positively predicted by high‐density lipoprotein (β = 0.401, p<0.01). Also, low‐density lipoprotein was a predictor of apolipoprotein B (β = 0.340, p<0.01). The severity of depression was correlated with the increment in serum apolipoprotein B levels and the decrement in serum apolipoprotein A level.
In view of the relationship between apolipoproteins A and B and depression, it would seem that screening of these metabolic risk factors besides psychological interventions is necessary in depressed patients.
PMCID: PMC3044579  PMID: 21437446
Coronary risk factors; Coronary heart disease; Major depression
22.  Positive and negative perfectionism and their relationship with anxiety and depression in Iranian school students 
Although many studies have investigated the relationship between perfectionism, anxiety, and depression among the adults, little is known about the manifestations of perfectionism among schoolage youths. This study has investigated this relationship in an Iranian sample.
Using multistage cluster random sampling, 793 Iranian school students in 2007 were studied. Data of demographic characteristics, children's depression inventory, revised children's manifest anxiety scale, and the positive and negative perfectionism scales were obtained using questionnaires.
The results indicated that both aspects of perfectionism are associated with depression and anxiety. Negative and positive perfectionism have positive and negative associations, respectively, with depression and anxiety. The interaction of anxiety and depression with perfectionism reveals that depression is in association with lower scores of positive perfectionism, whereas in students with higher scores of negative perfectionism, the anxiety scores are also higher. Moreover, the accompaniment of anxiety with depression is in association with relatively lower levels of negative perfectionism.
It was concluded that negative perfectionism is a risk factor for both depression and anxiety, while positive perfectionism is a protective factor. However, the interventions which encourage the positive aspects of perfectionism and decrease its negative aspects may be able to diminish psychopathological subsequence.
PMCID: PMC3063422  PMID: 21448388
Depressions; Anxiety
23.  The Correlation Between Lipid Profile and Stress Levels in Central Iran: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):102-106.
Previous studies suggest that mental status may influence serum lipid levels. This study was conducted on adult population living in rural and urban areas in Central Iran to assess the correlation between stress level and lipid profile disorders.
Data was extracted from final evaluation of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) in 2008. Multistage and random cluster methods were used for sampling. The study population consisted of 9752 adults aged ≥19 years living in three districts namely Isfahan, Arak and Najaf Abad. Demographic data, age and sex were recorded. Blood samples were taken to determine the lipid levels including total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides. Stress levels were assessed using the General Health Questionnaire. Logistic regression and chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis.
The odds ratios of high stress in individuals with high levels of TC, LDL-C and low levels of HDL-C compared to normal individuals after adjustment for age and sex were as follows respectively: 1.05 (1.02,1.15), 1.06 (1.02,1.18), 1.06 (1.01,1.17).
Intervention activities towards reduction of stress levels at the community level may be useful as part of the strategy for cardiovascular disease prevention.
PMCID: PMC3347824  PMID: 22577424
Cholesterol; Triglycerides; Stress; Adult
24.  The Relationship Between Ankle-Brachial Index and Number of Involved Coronaries in Patients with Stable Angina 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(1):6-10.
Atherosclerosis is the commonest cause of vascular disease which can involve peripheral and/or cardiac vessels. This study was conducted to evaluate the possible link between Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) and coronary vessel involvement in patients with stable angina.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008 on 120 individuals who were hospitalized in Chamran Heart Center and underwent coronary angiography. A questionnaire was completed to obtain demographic information, history of previous heart disease and smoking. Body height and weight, as blood pressure on hand and foot were measured. The patients underwent angiography and the extent of coronary involvement (> 75%) was determined. After12-14-hour of fasting, blood sugar was obtained to measure total cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABI) was calculated as the ratio of the blood pressure in the ankles to the blood pressure in the arms. The data were analyzed by SPSS-15 using ANOVA, T-Student test, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, and discriminant analysis.
Samples were 46 women (38.33%) and 74 men (61.67%) with a mean age of 55.50 ± 10.49. Mean and SD of ABI in men and women was 0.72 ± 0.20 and 0.80 ± 0.19 with no significant difference (P=0.012). The correlation between ABI and extent of coronary involvement was 0.47 (P < 0.0001). The group with lower ABI had the highest levels of coronary involvement (triple vessel, P < 0.05).
ABI had a significant relationship with the degree of coronary involvement and a significant predictive value. Therefore ABI seems to be a reliable indicator of high coronary risk.
PMCID: PMC3347808  PMID: 22577406
Ankle to brachial index; Coronary involvement; Stable angina
25.  Is there any Relationship Between C-Reactive Protein Level and Complex Coronary Plaques in Patients with Unstable Angina? 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(1):31-34.
Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of death in developed countries. On the other hand, increased level of CRP has been seen in atherosclerosis. According to this finding, we decided to conduct this study to assess the relationship between CRP and complex lesions of coronary arteries in patients with unstable angina.
In this analytical cross sectional study which was conducted in 2007 in Chamran hospital, samples were collected using simple sampling and included 80 patients who referred to the hospital due to angina pectoris, had the diagnosis of unstable angina and were candidates of angiography. At first, a questionnaire was filled for each patient including demographic factors and their medical history. Then a blood sample was taken to assess level of CRP, FBS, and lipid profiles. The results of angiographic studies were considered by three cardiologists and abnormal patients were classified into simple and complex groups according to Ambrose criteria. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 15, t-student and chi-square tests.
Mean age of samples was 58.27 ± 6.23 years old. Considering the risk factors, most simple and complex lesions happened in obese patients however the only significant difference was observed in BMI between two groups (P < 0.05). Mean level of CRP in the population under study was 6.05 ± 4 mg/dl which was 1.37 ± 2 and 8.01 ± 6 in simple and complex groups respectively (P < 0.05). CRP mean was significantly higher in the group with complex lesions, less than 1 mg/dl in simple lesion and more than 4 mg/dl in complex lesions.
According to our findings, there is a significant difference considering CRP level in unstable angina patients who have complex lesions compared with simples ones. As complex plaques are more susceptible to develop coronary events, patients with a higher probability of complicated lesions can be screened.
PMCID: PMC3347811  PMID: 22577410
CRP; Simple and complex lesion; Unstable angina; Angiography

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