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1.  Relationship between blood peroxidases activity and visfatin levels in metabolic syndrome patients 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(4):218-226.
BACKGROUND
The observed relationships between visfatin, peroxidases activity, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are inconsistent; therefore, this study was undertaken to understand these relationships.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study was conducted as a part of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program, Iran. A blood sample of 90 MetS and non-MetS patients were used to estimate total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TGs), fasting blood glucose (FBG), waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), visfatin and peroxidases activity. Data analysis for MetS group was carried out in two ways. (1) MetS with three components and with > 3 components. (2) MetS with hyperglycemia and without hyperglycemia.
RESULTS
SBP, DBP, WC, FBG, TC, TG, LDL-C, and were higher and HDL-C levels was lower in MetS patients. There was a significant correlation between visfatin levels and peroxidases activity in MetS patients with three components. Levels of visfatin were significantly higher in male as compared to female subjects in the MetS with three components group. There was a significant decrease in peroxidases activity in > 45 years old subjects in the MetS with > 3 components group. A significant correlation was observed between serum visfatin levels and FBG in the MetS without hyperglycemia group.
CONCLUSION
Peroxidases activities in MetS patients can be related to visfatin levels. Gender influences on peroxidases activity probably and was lower in female patients with MetS. Hyperglycemia does not influence peroxidases activities and visfatin levels.
PMCID: PMC4173313  PMID: 25258638
Peroxidase; Metabolic Syndrome; Visfatin
2.  The sustainability of interventions of a community-based trial on children and adolescents’ healthy lifestyle 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(2):107-117.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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
3.  Seasonal pattern in admissions and mortality from acute myocardial infarction in elderly patients in Isfahan, Iran 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):46-54.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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
4.  Determinants of uncontrolled hypertension in an Iranian population 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):25-31.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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).
CONCLUSION
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
5.  Comparison of competing risks models based on cumulative incidence function in analyzing time to cardiovascular diseases 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2014;10(1):6-12.
BACKGROUND
Competing risks arise when the subject is exposed to more than one cause of failure. Data consists of the time that the subject failed and an indicator of which risk caused the subject to fail.
METHODS
With three approaches consisting of Fine and Gray, binomial, and pseudo-value, all of which are directly based on cumulative incidence function, cardiovascular disease data of the Isfahan Cohort Study were analyzed. Validity of proportionality assumption for these approaches is the basis for selecting appropriate models. Such as for the Fine and Gray model, establishing proportionality assumption is necessary. In the binomial approach, a parametric, non-parametric, or semi-parametric model was offered according to validity of assumption. However, pseudo-value approaches do not need to establish proportionality.
RESULTS
Following fitting the models to data, slight differences in parameters and variances estimates were seen among models. This showed that semi-parametric multiplicative model and the two models based on pseudo-value approach could be used for fitting this kind of data.
CONCLUSION
We would recommend considering the use of competing risk models instead of normal survival methods when subjects are exposed to more than one cause of failure.
PMCID: PMC4063516  PMID: 24963307
Competing Risks; Cumulative Incidence Function; Fine and Gray Model; Binomial Approach; Pseudo-value Approach; Cardiovascular Diseases
6.  Developing an appropriate model for self-care of hypertensive patients: first experience from EMRO 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(4):232-240.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
The model can be implemented at a national scale.
PMCID: PMC3746943  PMID: 23970918
Self-Care; Hypertension; Model
7.  Autonomic function change following a supervised exercise program in patients with congestive heart failure 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(2):150-156.
BACKGROUND
Few studies have investigated changes in autonomic function after training in patients with cardiovascular diseases, particularly patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). Heart rate recovery (HRR) is a strong predictor of mortality in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of 8 weeks of supervised exercise training on autonomic function, which were assessed by heart rate, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and rate-pressure product (RPP) in CHF patients.
METHODS
65 patients aged 57-82 years with CHF were assigned to two groups randomly. The first group received a supervised 8-week aerobic training program of 30-45 min sessions, 3 days per week on alternate days, while controls received standard medical care and were followed up. Body weight, body mass index, functional capacity, resting heart rate, HRR, resting systolic blood pressure, peak heart rate, peak systolic blood pressure, and RPP were measured before and after the study period. Medications and diet recommendations remained unchanged in both groups during the study period.
RESULTS
The exercise group consisted of 33 patients with mean age of 61.54 ± 5.89 years and the controls were 32 patients with mean age of 60.94 ± 5.03 years. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures revealed a statistically significant difference in the exercise group compared to the control group regarding body mass index, resting heart rate, heart rate recover, functional capacity, peak heart rate, peak systolic blood pressure, peak RPP after 8 weeks (P ≤ 0.05).
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, a multidisciplinary CR program with supervised exercise training support significantly improves functional capacity and autonomic function in CHF patients. Therefore, a supervised and guided exercise training program is safe and beneficial for patients with CHF with different etiologies.
PMCID: PMC3653242  PMID: 23690816
Aerobic Exercise; Cardiorespiratory Fitness; Hemodynamics; Autonomic Function; CHF
8.  Differences in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in boys and girls based on various definitions 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):70-76.
BACKGROUND
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is increasing among children and adolescents. However, the prevalence of this disorder varies based on its different definitions. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of MetS in Iranian adolescents in junior high and high schools according to the definitions provided by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and De Ferranti.
METHODS
Overall, 1039 junior high school and 953 high school students were selected using multistage random sampling. Demographic data was collected using validated questionnaires. Fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were determined. Waist circumference and blood pressure were measured by trained individuals. Subjects with MetS were selected according to two definitions provided by the IDF and De Ferranti. Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare the prevalence of MetS and its components based on sex, school level, and the two definitions.
RESULTS
The mean age of junior high and high school students was 13.11 ± 1.21ad 15.93 ± 1.07 years old, respectively. The prevalence of MetS among all participants was 4.8% and 12.7% according to the definitions by the IDF and De Ferranti, respectively. It was significantly higher among boys compared to girls. According to the IDF definition, low HDL-C and hypertension were the most frequent components. Based on the De Ferranti, abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia were the most frequent components.
CONCLUSION
The prevalence of MetS was higher in both groups of students based on De Ferranti definition compared to the IDF definition. The prevalence was not significantly different in boys and girls. Further studies to investigate the most suitable definition of MetS for Iranian adolescents are necessary.
PMCID: PMC3653251  PMID: 23696762
Metabolic Syndrome; Adolescence; International Diabetes Federation and De Ferranti
9.  Socioeconomic characteristics and controlled hypertension: Evidence from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):77-81.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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
10.  Social norms of cigarette and hookah smokers in Iranian universities 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):45-50.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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
11.  Physical activity, sex, and socioeconomic status: A population based study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):51-60.
BACKGROUND
The purpose of the present study was to investigate physical activity by socioeconomic status (SES) and sex in an Iranian adult population.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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).
CONCLUSION
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.  Alteration in unhealthy nutrition behaviors in adolescents through community intervention: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):89-97.
BACKGROUND
Primary prevention of chronic diseases has been suggested to initiate health promotion activities from childhoods. The impact of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a comprehensive community trial, on unhealthy snacks and fast food intake changes was evaluated in Iranian adolescents between 2001 and 2007.
METHODS
Healthy Heart Promotion from Childhood (HHPC) as one of the IHHP interventional projects was conducted in adolescents aged 11-18 years, selected randomly by multistage random sampling. Isfahan and Najafabad districts were intervention areas (IA) and Arak district was reference area (RA). The baseline and post-intervention surveys were conducted on 1941 and 1997 adolescents, respectively. Healthy lifestyle interventions were performed during the 2nd phase of the study targeting about 410000 students in urban and rural areas of the IA via education, environmental and legislation activities. Dietary intake was assessed annually using a fifty-item food frequency questionnaire in both communities.
RESULTS
The interaction of year×area demonstrated that the consumption of unhealthy snacks decreased significantly in middle school boys of RA compared to IA (P for interaction=0.01). However, middle school girls (P for interaction = 0.002) and both sexes of high school students in IA showed a significant reduction in fast food consumption against RA (P for interaction < 0.001).
CONCLUSION
The HHPC interventions made some improvement in fast food consumption. It did not show significant decrease regarding unhealthy snacks in adolescents. Proper and higher dose of interventions may be effective in achieving this goal.
PMCID: PMC3653262  PMID: 23696765
Nutrition; Dietary Behaviour; Adolescent; Lifestyle; Community Trial
14.  Improvement of dietary oil consumption following a community trial in a developing country: The role of translational research in health promotion 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2013;9(1):29-37.
BACKGROUND
This study aimed to determine the effects of the interventions of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP) on the type of oil consumed at the population level. It also tried to assess how this strategy has been effective as a health policy.
METHODS
The IHHP, a six-year community intervention program (2001-07), aimed at health promotion through the modification of cardiovascular disease risk factors. It was performed in Isfahan and Najafabad counties (intervention area) and Arak county (reference area), all in central Iran. This study targeted the whole population of over 2,000,000 in the intervention area. The findings of annual independent sample surveys were compared with the reference area. Dietary interventions were performed as educational, environmental, and/or legislative strategies.
RESULTS
From 2001 to 2007, the mean of changes for hydrogenated oil consumption was -3.2 and -3.6, and for liquid oil it was 3.6 and 2.8 times per week in the intervention and reference areas, respectively (P < 0.001). According to Commerce office record, the increase in liquid oil distribution during 2000-2007 was significantly higher in Isfahan than Arak (34% vs. 25%).
CONCLUSION
The effects of the simple, comprehensive, and integrated action-oriented interventions of our program could influence policy making and its results at the community level. It can be adopted by other developing countries.
PMCID: PMC3653266  PMID: 23696757
Oil Consumption; Hydrogenated Oil; Liquid Oil; Community Trial
15.  Metabolic syndrome in Iranian elderly 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):157-161.
BACKGROUND:
This study aimed to compare Iranian elderly with the middle-aged population in terms of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components.
METHODS:
This cross-sectional study was conducted using the data from the third phase of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program. Male and female residents of Isfahan over 19 years of age were selected by multistage cluster random sampling. A questionnaire including demographic characteristics, health status, medical history, medications used, as well as waist circumference, weight, height, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures was completed for all participants. Fasting blood samples were obtained from all subjects and examined for fasting blood sugar and lipid profile. T-test and Mann-Whitney test were used for quantitative data and chi-square test was performed for qualitative data.
RESULTS:
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in individuals aged over 60 years was significantly higher than those under 60 (49.5% vs. 17.5%, respectively; P < 0.001). Metabolic syndrome was also more prevalent among elderly females than in males (59.2% vs. 39.8%, respectively; P < 0.005). Some anthropometric measures such as height, body mass index, abdominal circumference, waist-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio were significantly different in men and women below 60 years in comparison with those over 60 years (P < 0.05). Moreover, there were significant differences in most studied parameters between the elderly and non-elderly women (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION:
This study showed that metabolic syndrome has a relatively high prevalence in Iranian elderly people, especially in elderly women. Therefore, early diagnosis and management of the complication are recommended among this high-risk group to avoid the subsequent complications.
PMCID: PMC3413084  PMID: 23205049
Metabolic Syndrome; Elderly; Iran
16.  The effectiveness of stress management intervention in a community-based program: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):176-183.
BACKGROUND:
This study was designed to assess the effectiveness of stress management training in improving the ability of coping with stress in a large population.
METHODS:
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.
RESULTS:
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.
CONCLUSION:
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
17.  Hypertension control in industrial employees: findings from SHIMSCO study 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;7(4):191-196.
BACKGROUND:
Hypertension prevention and control are among the most important public health priorities. We evaluated the impacts of a workplace intervention project “Stop Hypertension in Mobarakeh Steel Company” (SHIMSCO) on controlling hypertension in industrial workers.
METHODS:
The study was carried out in Mobarakeh Steel Company in Isfahan among 7286 male workers and employees. All individuals were evaluated for the presence of hypertension (HTN). According to examinations, 500 subjects with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 140 mmHg, and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 90 mmHg, and/or those using antihypertensive medications were confirmed to have HTN and thus included in this study. They were questioned for sociodemographic characteristics, past medical history and medication use. They received an educational program including healthy lifestyle and self-care recommendations of HTN management and control as well as training for accurate blood pressure measurement and home monitoring for two years. SBP, DBP, weight, height and routine lab tests were measured for all hypertensive subjects before and after the interventions. Paired t-test, generalized estimation equation (GEE) and ordinary linear regression (OLR) were used for statistical analysis in SPSS.
RESULTS:
The comparison of SBP and DBP before and after the educational program showed significant reductions in both parameters (−7.97 ± 14.72 and −2.66 ± 9.96 mmHg, respectively). However, a greater decrease was detected in case of DBP. GEE showed SBP and DBP to decrease about −0.115 and −0.054 mmHg/month. OLR also revealed reductions of 4.88 and 2.57 mmHg respectively in SBP and DBP upon adding each antihypertensive drug.
CONCLUSION:
SHIMSCO, a 3-year interventional project in workplaces, was effective in reducing SBP and DBP among hypertensive employees and workers. We conclude that implementing simple educational programs in worksites can improve the management and control of hypertension and perhaps other chronic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3413089  PMID: 23205054
Hypertension; Worksite; Industrial; Blood Pressure; Control
18.  Effects of occupational exposure to lead on left ventricular echocardio graphic variables 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):130-135.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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.
CONCLUSION
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
19.  The first Iranian recommendations on prevention, evaluation and management of high blood pressure 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2012;8(3):97-118 .
This paper presents the complete report of the first Iranian Recommendations on Prevention, Evaluation and Management of High Blood Pressure. The purpose is to provide an evidence-based approach to the prevention, management and control of hypertension (HTN) by adapting the most internationally known and used guidelines to the local health care status with consideration of the currently available data and based on the locally conducted researches on HTN as well as social and health care requirements. A working group of national and international experts participated in discussions and collaborated in decision-making, writing and reviewing the whole report. Multiple subcommittees worked together to review the recent national and international literature on HTN in different areas. We used the evaluation tool that is called "AGREE" and considered a score of > 60% as a high score. We adapted the Canadian Hypertension Education Program (CHEP), the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the US-based joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC7). The key topics that are highlighted in this report include: The importance of ambulatory and self-measurement of blood pressure, evaluation of cardiovascular risk in HTN patients, the role of lifestyle modification in the prevention of HTN and its control with more emphasis on salt intake reduction and weight control, introducing pharmacotherapy suitable for uncomplicated HTN or specific situations and the available drugs in Iran, highlighting the importance of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin-receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers as the first line therapy in many situations, the non-use of beta blockers as the first time treatment except in specific conditions, treating HTN in women, children, obese and elderly patients, the patient compliance to improve HTN control, practical guidelines to improve the patient's information on knowing their risk and self-care as well as a quick reference guide that can serve as simplified guidelines for physicians. The working team decided to update these recommendations every two years.
PMCID: PMC3557580  PMID: 23362408
High Blood Pressure; Prevention; Treatment; Control; Iran
20.  Do Intervention Strategies of Women Healthy Heart Project (WHHP) Impact on Differently on Working and Housewives? 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;6(4):129-135.
BACKGROUND
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the possible difference of the impact of Women Healthy Heart Project on lifestyle, as well as physical/biochemical parameters of working women and housewives.
METHODS
This was a community-based intervention study conducted over 5 years (2002-2007) in the counties of Isfahan and Najafabad (intervention areas) and Arak (control). Pre-study situation analysis of women was followed by 5 years of wide-ranging interventions (educational/environmental) conducted by various organizations using different methodologies. The interventions were aimed at modifying/improving lifestyle by increasing physical activity, encouraging healthy eating, and tobacco use cessation. The organizations involved in performing the interventions included the local radio and television authority, health/treatment centers, the Red Crescent Society, Municipalities, the Relief Committee, the Center for Retirees’ Welfare, and the Literacy Campaign Organization. After 5 years, final phase same as first phase was planed. The subjects studied in all phases‘ the pre- and post-intervention phases consisted of 10586 women aged above 18 years. Demographic data, obesity index, smoking, physical activity and eating habit were assessed before and after the study. Data were analyzed using SPSS-15 using Student's t-test, chi-square test, the general linear model of ANOVA, and logistic regression.
RESULTS
We studied 10586 women (6105 and 4481 women, pre- and post-intervention, respectively). Mean age of working women was 34.14±10.09 and 34.08±9.35 years before and after the study, respectively. Mean age of housewives before and after the study was 40.05±14.61 and 40.36±15.32 years, respectively. Interventions conducted during 5 years improved eating habits and decreased tobacco use in working women and housewives. In every phase of the study, there was a significant age difference between housewives and working women (P<0.001). Hence data were adjusted according to age in each phase. Overall physical activity of housewives and working women increased, but the percentage of passive smokers among housewives remained unchanged. Waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio changed significantly in housewives following interventions (P<0.001). The parameter which improved significantly in working women was waist circumference (P<0.05). However, after adjusting for age, no significant difference was seen between working women and housewives following interventions.
CONCLUSION
Community-based interventions, especially those directed at housewives, can lead to significant improvements in lifestyle and cardiovascular risk reduction. It seems that working women require tailored interventions to suit their conditions. Although short-term outcomes may seem insignificant, persistence and continuity of lifestyle changes may lead to reduced prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Then longer-term studies are warranted.
PMCID: PMC3347831  PMID: 22577430
Women; housewives; working; risk factors; lifestyle modification.
21.  Correlation Between Body Fat Distribution, Plasma Lipids and Apolipoproteins with the Severity of Coronary Involvement in Patients with Stable Angina 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;6(4):140-143.
BACKGROUND
Previous studies reported that the distribution of body fat is an important risk factor for coronary artery diseases (CAD) and abdominal adipose tissue is associated with severe CAD. This study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between body fat distributions, plasma lipids and the severity of CAD in patients with stable angina.
METHODS
Ninety seven patients who underwent coronary angiography for stable angina were allocated into two groups: patients with mild or sever coronary artery involvement. Lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL) and triglyceride (TG) and apolipoprotein A and B, were measured for all of the participants and a demographic data questionnaire was filled by the subjects. Participants underwent abdominal computed tomography (CT-Scan) for measurement of adipose tissues that was classified to visceral and superficial and deep subcutaneous fat tissue compartment.
RESULTS
Patients with severe coronary artery involvement had higher level of apo B (P=0.02). Significant correlation was seen between visceral fat index and TG (P=0.01), HDL-C (P<0.01) in patients with mild coronary involvement and with total cholesterol (P=0.02), LDL-C (P=0.01) and apoB (P<0.01) in patients with severe coronary involvement.No significant relationship was seen among deep cutaneous fat index and lipid profile in both groups.
CONCLUSION
Our findings showed that visceral adipose tissue is significantly associated with severe CAD and has a significant correlation with lipid profile as well as Apo B.
PMCID: PMC3347832  PMID: 22577432
Visceral Abdominal Adipose Tissue; Superficial Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue; Deep Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue; Coronary Involvement; Lipid Profile.
22.  Stress Level and Smoking Status in Central Iran: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;6(4):144-148.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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).
CONCLUSION
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.
23.  Cytochrome P450 2C19 Polymorphism in Iranian Patients with Coronary Artery Disease 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2011;7(3):106-110.
BACKGROUND
The polymorphisms of cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) gene are major prognostic factors for the response to clopidogrel therapy in patients with coronary artery diseases (CAD). The CYP2C19*2 is the most important allele responsible for resistance to clopidogrel therapy. This study examined CYP2C19 gene polymorphism (CYP2C19*1 and *2) in Iranian patients.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study was performed on 43 Iranian patients with CAD who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and received drug-eluted stents (DES). CYP2C19 polymorphisms were assessed using real time PCR and frequency of CYP2C19*1 and CYP2C19*2 were determined, and then homo- or heterozygous state of genes was detected by Melt Curve Analysis method.
RESULTS
Forty three patients (mean age = 58.8 ± 10.0 years, 79.1% male) participated in this study. CYP2C19*1/CYP2C19*1 genotype was observed in 31 (72.1%) of participates, CYP2C19*1/CYP2C19*2 genotype in 10 (23.3%), and CYP2C19*2/CYP2C19*2 genotype in 2 patients (4.7%). The frequency of CYP2C19*2 allele in the sample was 27.9%.
CONCLUSION
This study demonstrated a high prevalence of CYP2C19*2 gene polymorphism in Iranian patients. Further studies with larger samples or longitudinal are required to determine the effects of this polymorphism on the prognosis of CAD patients in our population.
PMCID: PMC3347856  PMID: 22577456
CYP2C19; Polymorphism; Clopidogrel; Coronary Artery Disease; Iran
24.  The Correlation Between Lipid Profile and Stress Levels in Central Iran: Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):102-106.
BACKGROUND
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.
METHODS
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.
RESULTS
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).
CONCLUSION
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
25.  Prognostic Factors for Survival at 6-Month Follow-up of Hospitalized Patients with Decompensated Congestive Heart Failure 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):112-117.
BACKGROUND
The prevalence of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is increasing in recent years. Factors associated with mortality in CHF patients are important to be determined in order to select therapeutic modality by physicians. The purpose of the current study was to declare predictors of 6-months survival in patients hospitalized for decompensated CHF in Isfahan.
METHODS
A cohort of 301 hospitalized patients with decompensated CHF were recruited in this study. The diagnosis of CHF was based on previous hospitalizations and Framingham criteria for heart failure (HF). Information regarding past history, accompanying diseases such as cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), clinical data, medications and echocardiography were obtained by a cardiologist. Patients were followed for their survival for 6 months by telephone calls. Kaplan-Meier method was used for uni variate survival analysis and Cox proportional hazard model was used for multivariate analysis.
RESULTS
Mean age of patients was 71.9 ± 12.2 years and 59.8% was male. During 6-months follow-up 138 (45.8%) patients died. Mean survival was 119.2 ± 4.4 days (Mean ± SEM). Significant prognostic factors for 6 months survival were high education level (HR = 0.74, CI 95% 0.59—0.93), COPD (HR = 1.91, CI 95% 1.2—3.04), CVA (HR = 1.69, CI 95% 1.03—2.78), Angiotensin Converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors use (HR = 0.44, CI 95% 0.3—0.66) and Diuretics (HR = 0.63, CI 95% 0.41-0.96).
CONCLUSION
Six-month survival of hospitalized decompensated CHF patients in Iran is not favorable. Many factors particularly accompanying diseases and medications affected the patient's 6-months survival.
PMCID: PMC3347826  PMID: 22577426
Heart failure; Survival; Mortality

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