Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among 28,000 employees

Martin Scheerbaum a,1, Constantin Langenbach a,1, Petra Scheerbaum 1, Franziska Heidemann 1, Henrik C. Riess 1, Hagen Heigel 2, Sebastian E. Debus 1 and Christian-Alexander Behrendt 1

Summary: Background: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Germany. The knowledge of causal risk factors and their distribution is of utmost importance to design screening programs. Probands and methods: In this cross-sectional study design we used STROBE criteria to achieve the highest comparability possible. Anthropometric measures (height and weight), total cholesterol, glucose level, and blood pressure were measured. Probands’ history was collected by using a standardized questionnaire. The data was age- and gender-adjusted for the working population 16 to 70 years of age, derived from the micro census, the 1 %-sample census of the German statistical offi ce. For each study year weight factors were calculated. Logistic regression analysis was conducted regarding the cardiovascular risk factors: smoking, arterial hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and obesity. Results: Between 2006 and 2015 a total of 28,293 employees took part in the ongoing company screenings. The mean age was 42.3 years for both sexes (median: 43 years). The mean body mass index (BMI) was 25.6 kg/ m2 (men: 26.5 kg/m2, women: 24.7 kg/m2). A history of hypertension was present in 16 % of the employees (men: 17.8 %, women: 13.8 %). Of the respondents 2 % suffered from diabetes (men: 2.4 %, women: 1.6 %). Lipid-lowering drugs were taken by 2.8 % of all employees (3.6 % men and 1.9 % women). 23.3 % of the men and women indicated to be active smokers. In the regression analysis obesity was associated with a four times higher risk of hypertension and a three times higher risk of elevated glucose levels, thus manifesting as main contributor for vascular diseases. Meanwhile the risk for obesity was 140 % higher in probands who are former smokers. Conclusions: We regard obesity as the number one cardiovascular risk which should be assessed by various medical, legislative, and socio-economic actions to limit future mortality and health-care costs in Germany.

a These authors contributed equally to this paper 
1 Department of Vascular Medicine, University Heart Center Hamburg, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany 
2 Heigel GmbH, Hanstedt, Germany

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Veröffentlicht: 18.07.2017
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