Risk factors for ischaemic heart disease in a Cretan rural population: A twelve year follow-up study

Ioannis K. Karalis, Athanasios K. Alegakis, Antonios G. Kafatos, Antonios D. Koutis, Panos E. Vardas, Christos D. Lionis

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Abstract

Background. Crete has been of great epidemiological interest ever since the publication of the Seven Countries Study. In 1988 a well-defined area of rural Crete was studied, with only scarce signs of coronary heart disease (CHD) despite the unfavorable risk profile. The same population was re-examined twelve years later aiming to describe the trends of CHD risk factors over time and discuss some key points on the natural course of coronary heart disease in a rural population of Crete. Methods and Results. We re-examined 200 subjects (80.7% of those still living in the area, 62.4 ± 17.0 years old). The prevalence of risk factors for CHD was high with 65.9% of men and 65.1% of women being hypertensive, 14.3% of men and 16.5% of women being diabetic, 44% of men being active smokers and more than 40% of both sexes having hyperlipidaemia. Accordingly, 77.5% of the population had a calculated Framingham Risk Score (FRS) > 15%, significantly higher compared to baseline (p < 0.001). The overall occurrence rate for CHD events was calculated at 7.1 per 1000 person-years (95% confidence interval: 6.8-7.3). Conclusion. The study confirms the unfavorable risk factor profile of a well defined rural population in Crete. Its actual effect on the observed incidence of coronary events in Cretans remains yet to be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number351
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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    Karalis, I. K., Alegakis, A. K., Kafatos, A. G., Koutis, A. D., Vardas, P. E., & Lionis, C. D. (2007). Risk factors for ischaemic heart disease in a Cretan rural population: A twelve year follow-up study. BMC Public Health, 7, [351]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-7-351