Hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, obesity and smoking are known to be the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Because the elderly population has been increasing globally, CVD may become a more important public health problem in the future. This report examines the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in the elderly in Ankara, Turkey. This was a cross-sectional survey and included a total of 2720 individuals living in the Ankara district. Trained research staff administered a standard questionnaire in the participants’ homes and worksites. The questionnaire collected information on clinical and demographic characteristics and a self-reported medical history, including past history of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease, coronary artery by-pass graft operation, and cerebrovascular accident. The mean age of the study participants was 69.5 ± 7.2 years. The study identified 1298 women (78.1%) and 753 men (71.2%) with hypertension, and the overall prevalence of hypertension was 75.4%. A total of 739 (27.2%) people had diabetes mellitus, and, of these people, 603 (81.6%) were hypertensive. A total of 1361 people had hyperlipidemia, and 1103 of these patients were also hypertensive. The overall prevalence of obesity was 27.2%. A total of 553 (20.3%) people were smokers. Our findings indicate that cardiovascular risk factors are very common in the elderly. To maximize risk reduction, physicians must take aggressive measures to decrease cardiovascular risk factors.
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