Understanding and managing cardiovascular disease risk factors in Vietnam integrating clinical and public health perspectives

University dissertation from Umeå : Umeå universitet

Abstract: Background: Vietnam, like other low-income countries, is facing an epidemic burden of cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVDRFs). The magnitude and directions of CVDRF progression are matters of uncertainty.Objectives: To describe the epidemiological progression of CVDRFs and the preventive effects of community lifestyle interventions, with reference to the differences in progression of CVDRF patterns between men and women.Methods: The study was conducted during 2001-2009 in nationally representative samples and in a local setting of rural areas of Ba-Vi district, Ha-Tay province. Both epidemiological and interventional approaches were applied: (i) a population-based cross-sectional survey of 2,130 people aged ?25 years in Thai-Binh and Hanoi; (ii) an individual participant-level meta analysis of 23,563 people aged 24-74 years from multiple similar surveys in 9 provinces around Vietnam; (iii) a 17-month cohort study of 497 patients in a hypertension management programme; (iv) a quasi-experimental trial on community lifestyle promotion integrated with a hypertension management programme, evaluated by surveys of 4,645 people in both intervention and reference communes before and after a 3-year intervention.Main findings: (i) in the general adult population ?25 years, CVDRFs were common, often clustered within individuals, and increased with age; (ii) the Vietnamese population is facing a growing epidemic of CVDRFs, which are generally not well managed; (iii) it is possible to launch a community intervention in low-resource settings within the scope of a commune-based patient-targeted programme on hypertension management; (iv) community health intervention with comprehensive healthy lifestyle promotion improves blood pressure and some behavioural CVDRFs.Conclusion: Alarming increases in CVDRFs in the general population need comprehensive multi-level prevention strategies, which combine both individual high-risk and population health approaches. The commune-based hypertension-centred management programmes integrated with community health promotion are the initial but essential steps towards comprehensive and effective management of CVDRFs and should be part of an integrated and co-ordinated national program on the prevention and control of chronic diseases in low-resource settings like Vietnam.