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      Third national surveillance of risk factors of non-communicable diseases (SuRFNCD-2007) in Iran: methods and results on prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, central obesity, and dyslipidemia

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          The burden of non-communicable diseases is rising globally. This trend seems to be faster in developing countries of the Middle East. In this study, we presented the latest prevalence rates of a number of important non-communicable diseases and their risk factors in the Iranian population.


          The results of this study are extracted from the third national Surveillance of Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases (SuRFNCD-2007), conducted in 2007. A total of 5,287 Iranian citizens, aged 15–64 years, were included in this survey. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were applied to collect the data of participants including the demographics, diet, physical activity, smoking, history of hypertension, and history of diabetes. Anthropometric characteristics were measured and serum biochemistry profiles were determined on venous blood samples. Diabetes (fasting plasma glucose ≥ 126 mg/dl), hypertension (systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or use of anti-hypertensive drugs), dyslipidemia (hypertriglyceridemia: triglycerides ≥ 150 mg/dl, hypercholesterolemia: total cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dl), obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m 2), and central obesity (waist circumference ≥ 80 cm in females and ≥ 94 cm in males) were identified and the national prevalence rates were estimated.


          The prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and central obesity was 8.7% (95%CI = 7.4–10.2%), 26.6% (95%CI = 24.4–28.9%), 22.3% (95%CI = 20.2–24.5%), and 53.6% (95%CI = 50.4–56.8%), respectively. The prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia was 36.4% (95%CI = 34.1–38.9%) and 42.9% (95%CI = 40.4–45.4%), respectively. All of the mentioned prevalence rates were higher among females (except hypertriglyceridemia) and urban residents.


          We documented a strikingly high prevalence of a number of chronic non-communicable diseases and their risk factors among Iranian adults. Urgent preventive interventions should be implemented to combat the growing public health problems in Iran.

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          Alternative projections of mortality and disability by cause 1990–2020: Global Burden of Disease Study

          Plausible projections of future mortality and disability are a useful aid in decisions on priorities for health research, capital investment, and training. Rates and patterns of ill health are determined by factors such as socioeconomic development, educational attainment, technological developments, and their dispersion among populations, as well as exposure to hazards such as tobacco. As part of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), we developed three scenarios of future mortality and disability for different age-sex groups, causes, and regions. We used the most important disease and injury trends since 1950 in nine cause-of-death clusters. Regression equations for mortality rates for each cluster by region were developed from gross domestic product per person (in international dollars), average number of years of education, time (in years, as a surrogate for technological change), and smoking intensity, which shows the cumulative effects based on data for 47 countries in 1950-90. Optimistic, pessimistic, and baseline projections of the independent variables were made. We related mortality from detailed causes to mortality from a cause cluster to project more detailed causes. Based on projected numbers of deaths by cause, years of life lived with disability (YLDs) were projected from different relation models of YLDs to years of life lost (YLLs). Population projections were prepared from World Bank projections of fertility and the projected mortality rates. Life expectancy at birth for women was projected to increase in all three scenarios; in established market economies to about 90 years by 2020. Far smaller gains in male life expectancy were projected than in females; in formerly socialist economies of Europe, male life expectancy may not increase at all. Worldwide mortality from communicable maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders was expected to decline in the baseline scenario from 17.2 million deaths in 1990 to 10.3 million in 2020. We projected that non-communicable disease mortality will increase from 28.1 million deaths in 1990 to 49.7 million in 2020. Deaths from injury may increase from 5.1 million to 8.4 million. Leading causes of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) predicted by the baseline model were (in descending order): ischaemic heart disease, unipolar major depression, road-traffic accidents, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, war injuries, diarrhoeal diseases, and HIV. Tobacco-attributable mortality is projected to increase from 3.0 million deaths in 1990 to 8.4 million deaths in 2020. Health trends in the next 25 years will be determined mainly by the ageing of the world's population, the decline in age-specific mortality rates from communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional disorders, the spread of HIV, and the increase in tobacco-related mortality and disability. Projections, by their nature, are highly uncertain, but we found some robust results with implications for health policy.
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            Hypertension prevalence and blood pressure levels in 6 European countries, Canada, and the United States.

            Geographic variations in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors have been recognized worldwide. However, little attention has been directed to potential differences in hypertension between Europe and North America. To determine whether higher blood pressure (BP) levels and hypertension are more prevalent in Europe than in the United States and Canada. Sample surveys that were national in scope and conducted in the 1990s were identified in Germany, Finland, Sweden, England, Spain, Italy, Canada, and the United States. Collaborating investigators provided tabular data in a consistent format by age and sex for persons at least 35 years of age. Population registries were the main basis for sampling. Survey sizes ranged from 1800 to 23 100, with response rates of 61% to 87.5%. The data were analyzed to provide age-specific and age-adjusted estimates of BP and hypertension prevalence by country and region (eg, European vs North American). Blood pressure levels and prevalence of hypertension in Europe, the United States, and Canada. Average BP was 136/83 mm Hg in the European countries and 127/77 mm Hg in Canada and the United States among men and women combined who were 35 to 74 years of age. This difference already existed among younger persons (35-39 years) in whom treatment was uncommon (ie, 124/78 mm Hg and 115/75 mm Hg, respectively), and the slope with age was steeper in the European countries. For all age groups, BP measurements were lowest in the United States and highest in Germany. The age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of hypertension was 28% in the North American countries and 44% in the European countries at the 140/90 mm Hg threshold. The findings for men and women by region were similar. Hypertension prevalence was strongly correlated with stroke mortality (r = 0.78) and more modestly with total CVD (r = 0.44). Despite extensive research on geographic patterns of CVD, the 60% higher prevalence of hypertension in Europe compared with the United States and Canada has not been generally appreciated. The implication of this finding for national prevention strategies should be vigorously explored.
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              The epidemiology of obesity.

              In the United States, obesity among adults and overweight among children and adolescents have increased markedly since 1980. Among adults, obesity is defined as a body mass index of 30 or greater. Among children and adolescents, overweight is defined as a body mass index for age at or above the 95th percentile of a specified reference population. In 2003-2004, 32.9% of adults 20-74 years old were obese and more than 17% of teenagers (age, 12-19 y) were overweight. Obesity varies by age and sex, and by race-ethnic group among adult women. A higher body weight is associated with an increased incidence of a number of conditions, including diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and with an increased risk of disability. Obesity is associated with a modestly increased risk of all-cause mortality. However, the net effect of overweight and obesity on morbidity and mortality is difficult to quantify. It is likely that a gene-environment interaction, in which genetically susceptible individuals respond to an environment with increased availability of palatable energy-dense foods and reduced opportunities for energy expenditure, contributes to the current high prevalence of obesity. Evidence suggests that even without reaching an ideal weight, a moderate amount of weight loss can be beneficial in terms of reducing levels of some risk factors, such as blood pressure. Many studies of dietary and behavioral treatments, however, have shown that maintenance of weight loss is difficult. The social and economic costs of obesity and of attempts to prevent or to treat obesity are high.

                Author and article information

                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                29 May 2009
                : 9
                : 167
                [1 ]Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center (EMRC), Vali-Asr Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                [2 ]Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
                [3 ]Center for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran
                Copyright © 2009 Esteghamati et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Public health


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