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1.  Divergent fifteen-year trends in traditional and cardiometabolic risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in the Seychelles 
Objective
Few studies have assessed secular changes in the levels of cardiovascular risk factors (CV-RF) in populations of low or middle income countries. The systematic collection of a broad set of both traditional and metabolic CV-RF in 1989 and 2004 in the population of the Seychelles islands provides a unique opportunity to examine trends at a fairly early stage of the "diabesity" era in a country in the African region.
Methods
Two examination surveys were conducted in independent random samples of the population aged 25–64 years in 1989 and 2004, attended by respectively 1081 and 1255 participants (participation rates >80%). All results are age-standardized to the WHO standard population.
Results
In 2004 vs. 1989, the levels of the main traditional CV-RF have either decreased, e.g. smoking (17% vs. 30%, p < 0.001), mean blood pressure (127.8/84.8 vs. 130.0/83.4 mmHg, p < 0.05), or only moderately increased, e.g. median LDL-cholesterol (3.58 vs. 3.36 mmol/l, p < 0. 01). In contrast, marked detrimental trends were found for obesity (37% vs. 21%, p < 0.001) and several cardiometabolic CVD-RF, e.g. mean HDL-cholesterol (1.36 vs. 1.40 mmol/l, p < 0.05), median triglycerides (0.80 vs. 0.78 mmol/l, p < 0.01), mean blood glucose (5.89 vs. 5.22 mmol/l, p < 0.001), median insulin (11.6 vs. 8.3 μmol/l, p < 0.001), median HOMA-IR (2.9 vs. 1.8, p < 0.001) and diabetes (9.4% vs. 6.2%, p < 0.001). At age 40–64, the prevalence of elevated total cardiovascular risk tended to decrease (e.g. WHO-ISH risk score ≥10; 11% vs. 13%, ns), whereas the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (which integrates several cardiometabolic CVD-RF) nearly doubled (36% vs. 20%, p < 0.001). Data on physical activity and on intake of alcohol, fruit and vegetables are also provided. Awareness and treatment rates improved substantially for hypertension and diabetes, but control rates improved for the former only. Median levels of the cardiometabolic CVD-RF increased between 1989 and 2004 within all BMI strata, suggesting that the worsening levels of cardiometabolic CVD-RF in the population were not only related to increasing BMI levels in the interval.
Conclusion
The levels of several traditional CVD-RF improved over time, while marked detrimental trends were observed for obesity, diabetes and several cardiometabolic factors. Thus, in this population, the rapid health transition was characterized by substantial changes in the patterns of CVD-RF. More generally, this analysis suggests the importance of surveillance systems to identify risk factor trends and the need for preventive strategies to promote healthy lifestyles and nutrition.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-8-34
PMCID: PMC2719584  PMID: 19558646
2.  Metabolic syndrome according to different definitions in a rapidly developing country of the African region 
Aims
We examined, in a country of the African region, i) the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) according to three definitions (ATP, WHO and IDF); ii) the distribution of the MetS criteria; iii) the level of agreement between these three definitions and iv) we also examined these issues upon exclusion of people with diabetes.
Methods
We conducted an examination survey on a sample representative of the general population aged 25–64 years in the Seychelles (Indian Ocean, African region), attended by 1255 participants (participation rate of 80.3%).
Results
The prevalence of MetS increased markedly with age. According to the ATP, WHO and IDF definitions, the prevalence of MetS was, respectively, 24.0%, 25.0%, 25.1% in men and 32.2%, 24.6%, 35.4% in women. Approximately 80% of participants with diabetes also had MetS and the prevalence of MetS was approximately 7% lower upon exclusion of diabetic individuals. High blood pressure and adiposity were the criteria found most frequently among MetS holders irrespective of the MetS definitions. Among people with MetS based on any of the three definitions, 78% met both ATP and IDF criteria, 67% both WHO and IDF criteria, 54% both WHO and ATP criteria and only 37% met all three definitions.
Conclusion
We identified a high prevalence of MetS in this population in epidemiological transition. The prevalence of MetS decreased by approximately 32% upon exclusion of persons with diabetes. Because of limited agreement between the MetS definitions, the fairly similar proportions of MetS based on any of the three MetS definitions classified, to a substantial extent, different subjects as having MetS.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-7-27
PMCID: PMC2556312  PMID: 18801172
3.  Diabetes and pre-diabetes are associated with cardiovascular risk factors and carotid/femoral intima-media thickness independently of markers of insulin resistance and adiposity 
Background
Impaired glucose regulation (IGR) is associated with detrimental cardiovascular outcomes such as cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD risk factors) or intima-media thickness (IMT). Our aim was to examine whether these associations are mediated by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (waist) or fasting serum insulin (insulin) in a population in the African region.
Methods
Major CVD risk factors (systolic blood pressure, smoking, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol,) were measured in a random sample of adults aged 25–64 in the Seychelles (n = 1255, participation rate: 80.2%).
According to the criteria of the American Diabetes Association, IGR was divided in four ordered categories: 1) normal fasting glucose (NFG), 2) impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and normal glucose tolerance (IFG/NGT), 3) IFG and impaired glucose tolerance (IFG/IGT), and 4) diabetes mellitus (DM). Carotid and femoral IMT was assessed by ultrasound (n = 496).
Results
Age-adjusted levels of the major CVD risk factors worsened gradually across IGR categories (NFG < IFG/NGT < IFG/IGT < DM), particularly HDL-cholesterol and blood pressure (p for trend < 0.001). These relationships were marginally attenuated upon further adjustment for waist, BMI or insulin (whether considered alone or combined) and most of these relationships remained significant. With regards to IMT, the association was null with IFG/NGT, weak with IFG/IGT and stronger with DM (all more markedly at femoral than carotid levels). The associations between IMT and IFG/IGT or DM (adjusted by age and major CVD risk factors) decreased only marginally upon further adjustment for BMI, waist or insulin. Further adjustment for family history of diabetes did not alter the results.
Conclusion
We found graded relationships between IGR categories and both major CVD risk factors and carotid/femoral IMT. These relationships were only partly accounted for by BMI, waist and insulin. This suggests that increased CVD-risk associated with IGR is also mediated by factors other than the considered markers of adiposity and insulin resistance. The results also imply that IGR and associated major CVD risk factors should be systematically screened and appropriately managed.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-6-32
PMCID: PMC2148037  PMID: 17958881

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