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Prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam: results from a STEPS survey


Pham, LH and Au, TB and Blizzard, L and Truong, NB and Schmidt, MD and Granger, RH and Dwyer, T, Prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam: results from a STEPS survey, Bmc Public Health, 9, (291) pp. 1-8. ISSN 1471-2458 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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2008 Grievink et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-291


Background: Despite the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Vietnam, information on the prevalence of preventable risk factors for NCD is restricted to the main urban centres of Ha Noi, and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). This population-based survey aimed to describe the prevalence of risk factors for NCD in a rural Vietnamese sample. Methods: This survey was conducted using the WHO "STEPwise approach to surveillance of noncommunicable diseases" (STEPS) methodology. Participants (n = 1978) were residents of the Mekong Delta region selected by multi-stage sampling. Standardised international protocols were used to measure behavioural risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity), physical characteristics (weight, height, waist and hip circumferences, blood pressure C BP), fasting blood glucose (BG) and total cholesterol (TC). Data were analysed using complex survey analysis methods. Results: In this sample, 8.8% of men and 12.6% of women were overweight (body mass index (BMI) 25 kg/m2) and 2.3% of men and 1.5% of women were obese (BMI 30 kg/m2). The prevalence of hypertension (systolic BP 140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP 90 mmHg, or taking medication for hypertension) was 27.3% for men and 16.2% for women. There were 1.0% of men and 1.1% of women with raised BG (defined as capillary whole BG of at least 6.1 mmol/L). Conclusion: We provide the first NCD risk factor profile of people living in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam using standardised methodology. Our findings for this predominantly rural sample differ from previous studies conducted in Ha Noi and HCMC, and suggest that it is inappropriate to generalise findings from the big-city surveys to the other 80% of the population.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Au, TB (Dr Thuy Au)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Schmidt, MD (Dr Michael Schmidt)
ID Code:62236
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2010-03-10
Last Modified:2012-03-06
Downloads:412 View Download Statistics

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