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21-07-2010 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Influence of CV risk factors changes with age


Free abstract

MedWire News: The association of lipids, blood pressure (BP), and fasting blood glucose with cardiovascular (CV) risk varies as a person ages, a study of Iranian taxi drivers suggests.

Zinat Hatmi from Tehran University of Medical Sciences say their findings could suggest the need for more specific age-related interventions to prevent CV disease.

The team conducted a survey of 31,999 healthy taxi drivers or people who had made an application to buy a taxi in Tehran, at least 98% of whom were men.

Mean levels of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, systolic and diastolic BP, and fasting blood glucose significantly increased with rising decades in age.

There was a significant, increasing linear trend for total cholesterol over 170 mg/dl or 200 mg/dl (4.40 or 5.17 mmol/l), triglycerides over 200 mg/dl (2.26 mmol/l), and LDL cholesterol over 130 mg/dl (3.36 mmol/l).

The same was true for smoking, systolic BP over 120 or 140 mmHg, diastolic BP over 80 or 90 mmHg, and fasting blood glucose over 126 mg/dl.

However, the prevalence of risk factors significantly differed across the age groups, say the researchers in the International Journal of Cardiology. This suggests that different risk factors should be preferentially targeted in different age groups to most efficiently prevent CV disease.

In participants aged 30 to 40 years, the researchers say that targeting smoking, high diastolic BP, increased body mass index (BMI), high fasting blood glucose, and low literacy could increase the efficacy of current CV preventive measures.

For those aged 40 to 50 years, however, the risk factors to target would be smoking, high diastolic BP, increased BMI, fasting blood glucose above 26 mg/dl, systolic BP above 120 mmHg, and low education level.

Among individuals aged 50 to 60 years, improving the efficacy of current preventive guidelines for CV disease would require addressing systolic BP above 120 mmHg, smoking, higher diastolic BP, fasting blood glucose of at least 126 mg/dl, and low education level.

But for individuals aged above 60 years, the researchers say benefits would be accrued from targeting systolic BP above 120 mmHg, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol less than 45 mg/dl, smoking, and fasting blood glucose levels.

They advise: "Beyond current trustworthy coronary artery disease preventive guidelines we recommend more professional attention to the role of risk factors in different age decades."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Anita Wilkinson