Research finds high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among urban population in Nepal

Changing life-style in urban areas is increasing the risk of heart diseases. Recent research done in an urban population of Nepal's capital Kathmandu to assess their risk factors to cardio vascular diseases has found that the risk factors are high.

The research studied the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors - insufficient physical exercise, high waist circumference, obesity, hypertension, tobacco consumption, dyslipidaemia such as abnormal amounts of lipids (e.g. cholesterol) in the blood and diabetes - in a randomly selected sample size of 130 in densely populated urban Kathmandu.

"The prevalence rate of some risk factors related to sedentary life style was alarmingly high in the study area," says Dr. Amrit Bogati the lead author of the article published in the Nepal Heart Journal. "Insufficient physical activity prevailed in 69% of the population, while high waist circumference prevailed in 68% of the population and obesity prevailed in 59% of the population."

"The research was carried out by a group of doctors at the Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre as an effort to contribute research based knowledge in the area as very little research was done on this subject," he adds.

The prevalence of other cardiovascular risk factors hypertension (38%), tobacco consumption (38%), dyslipidaemia (22%) and diabetes (17%) were also significantly high in the study area.

Dr. Bogati notes that this research has been done with a small population in one part of Kathmandu so the findings may not be quite representative of the overall situation in Nepal. He now plans to continue the study in other areas of Kathmandu.

He adds: "Our observation is that at Shaheed Gangalal National Hearth Centre also receives a lot of cases from the villages and Terai where sedentary lifestyle should not have been a problem. We should do more research in different areas so that we can have a better idea of the situation."  

Dr. Bogati's research highlights the need for an aggressive preventive strategy to prevent epidemic of cardiovascular disease in Nepal. He suggests routine health check-up and sensitization to better health practices from the central level to reduce the risk factors and be protected from cardiovascular diseases.

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