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12/04/2011 - Press release

High blood pressure, dyslipidaemia and obesity: the most prevalent cardiovascular risk factors in Spain

The DARIOS Study is coordinated by researchers at the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute)

Media release from AstraZeneca

High blood pressure, dyslipidaemia and obesity are the three most prevalent cardiovascular risk factors among Spaniards aged between 35 and 74 years. In addition, these factors occur most commonly in the autonomous regions of Extremadura, the Canaries and Andalusia. Here are some of the conclusions reached by the DARIOS Study, an important Spanish study with over 28,000 participants, which is coordinated by researchers at the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) and funded by an unconditional grant from AstraZeneca.

A total of 28,887 people took part in the study, coming from 10 autonomous regions: Catalonia (Barcelona and Girona), the Canaries, the Balearic Islands, Murcia, Andalusia, Extremadura, Madrid, Castille-Leon, Navarra and Castille-La Mancha. Among these, “Extremadura, the Canaries and Andalusia are accumulating more risk factors and are significantly above the Spanish average”, states Dr. Jaume Marrugat, of the Cardiovascular Genetics and Epidemiology Group and the Research Programme on Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Processes at the IMIM (Institute of Medical Research) of Barcelona, who took part in the study.

The information obtained overall is explained as follows by this expert: “High blood pressure is the most prevalent cardiovascular risk factor in Spain, given that 47% of men and 39% of women suffer from it; this is followed by dyslipidaemia, with cholesterol levels of above 250mg/dl, and is present in 43% of men and 40% of women; in third place is obesity, affecting 29% in both genders”. In the same line, smoking and diabetes mellitus are the other major cardiovascular risk factors most commonly found among Spaniards. “33% of men and 21% of women are smokers; diabetes affects 16% of men and 11% of women”, indicates Dr. Marrugat.

He also points out that the men with less cardiovascular risk factors are found in Castille-La Mancha, Madrid and Catalonia (Girona), while the “healthiest” women are found in Navarra, Castille-Leon and Catalonia (Girona). “People need to be aware of the most effective way of preventing heart diseases: they should have a healthy diet and eat moderately to avoid putting on weight, they shouldn’t smoke and should take regular exercise, between 30 and 60 minutes a day, adapted to each individual’s physical condition and tastes”.

In addition, according to Dr. Marrugat, “we need to have blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure checks performed every so often and strictly follow indications given by the doctor in charge”. Similarly, and in certain cases, it is also advisable “to access new technologies which allow us to establish the genetic risk of heart disease, as these help doctors to individualise prevention intensity and to apply a more personalised medical treatment”, he concludes.

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