Reductions in population risk factor levels, including blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and cigarette smoking may be associated with the observed decline in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates. However, few recent population-based comparisons of risk trends are available. To evaluate changes in these risk characteristics in the recent period, data were compared from two surveys performed in the same metropolitan area using similar methods. The Lipid Research Clinic (LRC) Prevalence Study surveyed a population sample of 4185 adults aged 25 59 in 1973-1974. The Minnesota Heart Survey (MHS) surveyed a population sample of 2914 adults of the same age in the same metropolitan area in 1980-1982. The average systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly lower in the 1980-1982 survey averaging 1.5/3.8 mmHg for men and 1.6/2.8 mmHg for women. The use of anti-hypertensive medications increased significantly over the period while the prevalence of hypertension was similar. Significant declines in mean serum cholesterol were also observed in 1980-1982, averaging 3.3 mg, dl for men and 5.5 mg /dl women. The prevalence of regular cigarette smoking in men was also lower in 1980-1982. 36.3 vs 42.1 in 1973-1974. Women had a lower prevalence of smoking (38.8-35.6%) but the average woman smoker increased consumption of cigarettes while the average man did not. These observations suggest that population risk defined by these characteristics is declining which may explain part of recent Minnesota trends in CVD mortality and could have a favorable effect on future disease patterns.
- Blood pressure
- Population survey
- Risk factors
- Trends in cardiovascular disease