Sex differences in prevalence, treatment and control of cardiovascular risk factors in England.
Pinho-Gomes AC., Peters SAE., Thomson B., Woodward M.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate sex differences in prevalence, treatment and control of major cardiovascular risk factors in England. METHODS: Data from the Health Survey for England 2012-2017 on non-institutionalised English adults (aged ≥16 years) were used to investigate sex differences in prevalence, treatment and control of major cardiovascular risk factors: body mass index, smoking, systolic blood pressure and hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol and dyslipidaemia. Physical activity and diet were not assessed in this study. RESULTS: Overall, 49 415 adults (51% women) were included. Sex differences persisted in prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, with smoking, hypertension, overweight and dyslipidaemia remaining more common in men than in women in 2017. The proportion of individuals with neither hypertension, dyslipidaemia, diabetes nor smoking increased from 32% to 36% in women and from 28% to 29% in men between 2012 and 2017. Treatment and control of hypertension and diabetes improved over time and were comparable in both sexes in 2017 (66% and 51% for treatment and control of hypertension and 73% and 20% for treatment and control of diabetes). However, women were less likely than men to have treated and controlled dyslipidaemia (21% vs 28% for treatment and 15% vs 24% for control, for women versus men in 2017). CONCLUSIONS: Important sex differences persist in cardiovascular risk factors in England, with an overall higher number of risk factors in men than in women. A combination of public health policy and individually tailored interventions is required to further reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in England.