Determinants of Major Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Participants of the South Carolina WISEWOMAN Program, 2009–2012
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Determinants of Major Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among Participants of the South Carolina WISEWOMAN Program, 2009–2012

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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among US women, accounting for 25% of all deaths in this population. Approximately 65% of these deaths occur in asymptomatic women. Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus (diabetes) are major risk factors for CVD and can be treated effectively if identified at an early stage.


    Data were available from 3,572 uninsured first-time female participants aged 40 to 65 years, referred by their health professional to the South Carolina Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation (SC WISEWOMAN), 2009–2012. All women completed a structured health-risk and behavior questionnaire. Anthropometric measures were recorded and data on clinical risk-factors were collected. Prevalence-ratios (PRs) were obtained by predictive multivariable log-linear modeling.


    The prevalence of risk factors was 34.7% for uncontrolled hypertension, 9.3% for hypercholesterolemia, and 21% for diabetes. Prevalence of untreated hypertension was 15.6%; hypercholesterolemia, 8%; and diabetes, 4%. The greatest significant predictor of hypercholesterolemia was hypertension (PR = 4.37) and vice versa (PR = 2.39). The greatest significant predictors of diabetes were obesity (PR = 2.23), family history of diabetes (PR = 2.02), and hypercholesterolemia (PR = 1.85). Being obese (PR = 1.36), overweight (PR = 1.23), aged 60 years or more (PR = 1.26), and black (PR = 1.14) were significant predictors of having at least one CVD risk factor. Being black (PR = 1.09) was the only significant predictor of having comorbid conditions.


    Prevalence of uncontrolled CVD risk factors was high among participants in the SC WISEWOMAN program. These findings confirm that the program is reaching high-risk women who are in need of interventions to reduce their risk for CVD through lifestyle changes.

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