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Arch Environ Occup Health. 2010 Jul-Sep;65(3):135-9. doi: 10.1080/19338240903390339.

Distribution of cardiovascular risk factors in Belgian army men.

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Department of Nutrition, Preventive Medicine and Leuven Food Science and Nutrition Research Centre (LFoRCe), Catholic University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


The objective was to determine the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in Belgian army men. Biomedical data and cardiovascular risk factors were obtained by a mailed questionnaire and by data collected from a medical software program (Total Health). The number of responders to the mailing was 1852; 974 of the 1852 responders and 420 of the 3148 nonresponders were registered in Total Health. The prevalence of obesity was 5.6%, 15.0%, and 19.5%, respectively, for officers, noncommissioned officers, and soldiers. There was a strong socioeconomic gradient in the prevalence of smoking: 12.7% of the officers were smokers, compared with 19.7% of the noncommissioned officers and 29.5% of the soldiers (p < .001). Only 8.5% of the officers had a 10-year risk of more than 5% of developing fatal cardiovascular disease, compared with 18% of the lower socioeconomic positions. In conclusion, high-risk groups in Belgian army men are younger than 40 years of age, and smokers. Active prevention should focus on this group with special attention to the specificity of each rank category.

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