Cardiovascular diseases have become the major cause of death in India, but overall awareness is still low. Therefore, the initiative was undertaken to set up health care screening booths at eight airports and one hospital throughout India to increase awareness and to determine cardiovascular risk factors. Participants were screened for hypertension (systolic blood pressure (BP) >= 140 mmHg or diastolic BP >= 90 mmHg), diabetes [fasting blood glucose (FBG) level >= 126 or >= 200 mg/dL for random blood glucose (RBG)], and body mass index (BMI). Among 100 107 participants screened (46 +/- 13 years; 17% women), prevalence of diabetes was 12 571 (15%), hypertension: 30 345 (33%) and overweight: 61 219 (65%). Diabetes was treated more often than hypertension (44% vs 11%). Hypertension and diabetes prevalence values were relatively high in young obese adults; BMI correlated significantly (p < .001) stronger to both systolic BP and RBG for subjects younger than 40 years than for those who were older (r = 0.27 vs r = 0.06 and r = 0.15 vs r = 0.03, respectively). Among obese women aged 60 years and older the hypertension prevalence was higher than 40%, in obese men this prevalence value was already seen from the group of 30 to 40 years old. For participants older than 50 years with hypertension, diabetes prevalence was 20%. These results show that screening initiatives like these are highly needed to increase the overall awareness of diabetes and particularly of hypertension. Systematic screening programs also help to identify specific patient populations and cope with undertreatment of those at the highest cardiovascular risk. The fact that women were underrepresented in the present screening campaign suggests actions are needed to encourage them to participate in health care programs.
- cardiovascular risk