Screening for Cardiovascular Risk in Asymptomatic Users of the Primary Health Care Network in Lebanon, 2012–2013
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Screening for Cardiovascular Risk in Asymptomatic Users of the Primary Health Care Network in Lebanon, 2012–2013
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    Introduction In 2012, the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon piloted a service of multifactorial cardiovascular screening in the publicly subsidized Primary Health Care (PHC) Network. We present an epidemiological analysis of data produced during this pilot to justify the inclusion of this service in the package of essential services offered through PHC and to present a preliminary cardiovascular risk profile in an asymptomatic population. Methods A total of 4,205 participants (two-thirds of which were women) aged at least 40 years and reportedly free from diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) were screened. The screening protocol used a questionnaire and direct measurements to assess 5 modifiable cardiovascular risk factors; total cardiovascular risk score was calculated according to a paper-based algorithm developed by the World Health Organization and the International Society of Hypertension. Results Approximately 25% of the sample displayed metabolic impairments (11% for impaired blood glucose metabolism and 17% for impaired systolic blood pressure), and 6.6% were classified at total cardiovascular risk of 10% or more. Just over one-quarter of the sample was obese, almost half had a substantially elevated waist circumference, and 41% were smokers. Men were significantly more likely to screen positive for metabolic impairment than women, and women were more likely to be obese. Conclusion The implementation of a multifactorial screening for CVD among asymptomatic subjects detected a substantial proportion of previously undiagnosed cases of high metabolic risk, people who could now be referred to optimal medical follow-up.
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