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Int J Cardiol. 2006 Jun 16;110(2):184-90. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Assessing risk factors of coronary heart disease and its risk prediction among Korean adults: the 2001 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Chongno-gu, Korea.



An in-depth assessment of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors in Koreans was conducted to develop effective risk reduction strategies for this population.


Based on 2001 Korea National Health and Examination Survey, a cross-sectional survey, this paper presents the prevalence of major CHD risk factors and estimates future risk by applying the Framingham model and CHD risk factor guidelines of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP) to 4639 Koreans aged 20 to 79 years.


Our findings indicate that CHD is a major health threat to Koreans. Among these factors, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was seen in 35.1% of men and 17.8% of women; both had a low rate of controlled high blood pressure (men 13.7%, women 23.6%), and age-adjusted current smoking was especially high (61.6%) in men. The 10-year CHD risk averaged 11.1% in men and 5.5% in women based on Framingham model, and 7.4% and 1.4% based on NCEP guidelines. About 9.1% of men and 2.6% of women were "high-risk," (>20%) based on the Framingham model, and 4.7% and 0.7%, respectively, on the NCEP guideline. Diabetes was the most prevalent risk factor among high-risk individuals and total cholesterol in men and low HDL-C in women was fairly high regardless of prediction method.


These findings suggest that current coronary heart health of Koreans is nearly comparable to that of western developed countries. Developing and implementing effective population-based intervention strategies focusing on diabetes is warranted to lower the CHD risk for Koreans.

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