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Can J Cardiol. 1998 Aug;14(8):1017-24.

Ten-year trends of heart disease risk factors in the Halifax County MONICA population. MONItoring of trends and determinants in CArdiovascular disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.



To investigate trends in heart disease risk factors (RFs) in the general population of Halifax County, Nova Scotia during a 10-year period.


Two independent random samples of the population of Halifax County were surveyed in 1985 and 1995; age ranges were 25-64 years and 25-74 years. Blood pressure, cholesterol and body weight were measured. Smoking and health history were obtained by questionnaire.


Participation rate was 66.3% in 1985 and 1995. All RFs were negatively correlated with education attainment. RF changes from 1985 to 1995 were related to education level. Among survey participants, mean body mass index increased from 26.7 kg/m2 to 27.6 kg/m2 (P + 0.005) for men, and from 25.5 kg/m2 to 27.3 kg/m2 (P < 0.00001) for women. Average smoking rate increased from 32.0% to 34.6% (not significant) in men and from 27.7% to 29.1% (not significant) in women. Age-specific smoking rate increased by 13% (P = 0.14) in younger women and decreased by 10% in older women. (P = 0.00). Mean levels of blood cholesterol decreased by 0.2 mmol/L (P = 0.002) in men and 0.1 mmol/L (P = 0.20) in women. Systolic blood pressure increased by 6.3 mmHg (P < 0.0001) in men and by 7.9 mmHg (P < 0.0001) in women, being steepest in the lower education group. Mortality predicted from RFs declined between the survey years, but less than the observed mortality. This discrepancy may result from the effect of medical care or the delayed effect of RF changes.


Some risk factors show a disturbing trend, indicating that an increased effort or a change in strategy is needed to combat the risk of ischemic heart disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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