A study of cardiovascular risk in overweight and obese people in England
de Lusignan S., Hague N., van Vlymen J., Dhoul N., Chan T., Thana L., Kumarapeli P.
Objectives: To report current levels of obesity and associated cardiac risk using routinely collected primary care computer data. Methods: 67 practices took part in an educational intervention to improve computer data quality and care in cardiovascular disease. Data were extracted from 435 102 general practice computer records. 64.3% (229 108/362 861) of people age 15 y and older had a body mass index (BMI) recording or a valid height and weight record that enabled BMI to be derived. Data about cardiovascular disease and risk factors were also extracted. The prevalence of disease and the control of risk factors in the overweight and obese population were compared with those of normal body weight. Results: 56.8% of men and 69.3% of women aged over 15 y had a BMI record. 22% of men and 32.3% of women aged 15 to 24 y were overweight or obese; rising each decade to a peak of 65.6% of men and 57.5% of women aged 55 to 64 y. Thereafter, the proportion who were overweight or obese declined. The prevalence of ischaemic heart disease, diabetes mellitus and hypertension rose with increasing levels of obesity; their prevalence in those who are moderately obese was between two and three times that of the general population. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose even in non-diabetics, cholesterol and triglycerides were all elevated in the overweight and obese population. Conclusion: Based on the recorded data over half of men and nearly halfof women are overweight or obese. They have increased cardiovascular risk, which is not adequately controlled by current practice.