Modifiable Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors Trends in Urban Black South African Females and the Implications for Health Promotion Interventions

  •  Jeanne Grace    


BACKGROUND: Multiple risk factors can contribute to the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) in an individual, yet any change in the modifiable CHD risk status of Black South African females in recent times is unknown.

AIM: The researcher aimed to establish the current CHD risk status of urban Black African females and to report on any trends over a 10-year period with the purpose to direct health promotion programs.

METHODS: Data from 62 urban Black females (Mean age 32.4 ± 8.5 years) in 2006 was paired for age with that of 67 women (Mean age 32.0 ± 9.0 years) in 2016. The modifiable CHD risk factors assessed were cigarette smoking, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.

RESULTS: Physical inactivity (72.6% of the sample in 2006 vs. 75.8% in 2016) and obesity (42% in 2006 vs. 38.8% in 2016) were the top-ranked risk factors for CHD with the pattern unchanged in 2016. Significantly fewer participants (4.5% vs. 16.6%; p < 0.05) were hypertensive and significantly more women had hypercholesterolemia (5.6% vs. 23.9%; p < 0.05) in 2016. The multiple CHD risk profile showed that 42.4% had at least one CHD risk factor (an increase of 25%) and significantly fewer (27.3% vs. 45.2%; p < 0.05) had two CHD risk factors in 2016.

CONCLUSION: A sedentary lifestyle and obesity were the highest CHD risk factors. Also, the multiple CHD risk profile of Black African women changed over a period of 10 years from higher to lower and normal risk. Health promotion strategies must be directed towards weight reduction, increasing physical activity levels and be tailored for the population for which the health promotion programs have been designed.

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