Risk factors for coronary heart disease in the black population of the Cape Peninsula The BRISK study
A cross-sectional study of risk factors for ischaemic heart disease (IHO) in a random sample of 986 black people aged 15 - 64 years living in the Cape Peninsula revealed a population at lower risk for IHO than other South Africans. Blood pressures of 140/95 mmHg or above were found in 14,4% of males and 13,7% of females. Fifty-two per cent of males and 8,4% of females smoked, while 16,5% of males and 25,8% of females had a total cholesterol (TC) level imparting risk for developing IHO. In this population the TC level is not a good surrogate measure for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol because of the high level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HOLC) found in this population. A protective HOLC/TC ratio of 20% was found in 96% of males and 96,1% of females. When considering the three major reversible IHO risk factors at a high level of risk, 30,8% of males and 12,5% of females had at least one such a risk factor. The population was frequently exposed to the media, with 80% listening to the radio every day and 55% watching television at least once a week. This suggests that a healthy lifestyle could be promoted successfully by means of these media. In addition, schools should promote a healthy lifestyle and the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases should be incorporated into the evolving primary health care services in South Africa.
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