The Cardiovascular Institute, Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Göteborg bInstitute of Community Medicine (Primary Health Care), The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Favourable trends in cardiovascular disease have been observed in Sweden. The aim of this study was to study secular trends in a variety of cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: Total-, low-density (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) serum cholesterol; serum triglycerides; systolic and diastolic blood pressure; self-reported smoking and alcohol consumption were studied in repeated cross-sectional surveys. Data from four population-based samples in Goteborg, Sweden were used-WHO MONICA project 1985, 1990 and 1995, and INTERGENE 2002. A total of 2931 females and 2691 males aged 25-64 consisting of 1021-1624 randomly selected subjects at each survey period participated. RESULTS: Serum cholesterol levels showed downward trends but the decline in both total- and LDL-cholesterol seems to be levelling off from 1995 and onwards. No significant changes were observed in serum triglyceride, HDL-serum cholesterol or blood pressure levels. The majority of the participants had higher total- and LDL-serum cholesterol levels than currently recommended. Antihypertensive medical treatment increased in women and the oldest men. The prevalence of smoking decreased from 39 to 25% in women and 35 to 20% in men respectively from 1985-2002. In contrast, the prevalence of subjects consuming strong beer and wine, respectively, at least once a week almost doubled from 1990-2002. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular risk factor patterns change continuously and need to be monitored. The favourable trends in LDL-serum cholesterol and smoking in the Goteborg surveys were paralleled by less favourable trends in being overweight and alcohol consumption.