STUDY OBJECTIVE To analyse trends in socioeconomic differences in cardiovascular disease risk factors among an urban Chinese population using educational attainment as the socioeconomic indicator.
DESIGN Population surveys with randomly selected independent samples were carried out in 1989 and in 1996. Educational attainment, blood pressure, body mass index, cigarette smoking and lack of leisure time physical activity were determined.
SETTING Urban areas of the city of Tianjin, China.
PARTICIPANTS A total of 14 275 respondents aged 25–64 years.
MAIN RESULTS Diastolic blood pressure increased and the proportion of people without leisure time physical activity decreased in both sexes during the study period. The prevalence of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked daily increased significantly among men. Smoking decreased in the least educated men and increased in those who had studied at least to college level. Body mass index decreased across all educational strata in women, but blood pressure increased in women with at least college level education.
CONCLUSIONS These data reveal a different picture in trends in the association of education and cardiovascular risk factors from those depicted in developed countries. This highlights the need for an effective intervention programme in the study population.
- socioeconomic status
- cardiovascular disease risk factor
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Funding: this study was supported jointly by grants from the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Kuopio, and the Academy of Finland.
Conflicts of interest: none.