Prevalence of Major Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Coronary Heart Disease in a Sample of Greek Adults: The Saronikos Study

Aristofanis Gikas1, *, Vaia Lambadiari2, Alexios Sotiropoulos3, Demosthenes Panagiotakos4, Stavros Pappas3
1 Health Centre of Kalivia, Kalivia, Attiki, Greece
2 Second Department of Internal Medicine, Research Institute and Diabetes Centre, Attikon University General Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Greece
3 Third Department of Internal Medicine and Diabetes Centre, Saint Panteleimon General Hospital, Nikea-Pireaus, Greece
4 Department of Nutrition Science and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece

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© Gikas et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 17 Themistokleous, 15122, Maroussi, Greece; Tel: (+30)-2121025094; Fax: (+30)-2299048706; E-mails: and



Comprehensive data regarding prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and associated factors in different geographical regions are very important to our understanding of global distribution and evolution of CHD. The aim of this study was to assess the current prevalence of self-reported risk factors and CHD in Greek adult population.


A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in May 2014, during an election day, among residents of Saronikos municipality (Attica region). Data were collected from face-to-face interviews. The study sample included 2636 subjects (men, 49.5%; mean age, 50.5; range 20-95 years), with similar age and sex distribution to the target population.


The age-standardized prevalence rates of five major risk factors were as follows: type 2 diabetes 11.1%, hypercholesterolemia (cholesterol>240 mg/dl or using cholesterol-lowering medication) 23.8%, hypertension 27.2%, current smoking 38.9% and physical inactivity 43%. Of the participants, only 21% were free of any of these factors. Clustering of two to five risk factors was more frequent among persons aged 50 years and older as compared with younger ones (60% vs 27%, P=0.000). The age-adjusted prevalence of CHD was 6.3% (in men, 8.9%; in women, 3.8%) and that of myocardial infarction was 3.6% (in men, 5.2%; in women, 2.1%). According to multivariate analysis age, gender, education level, obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and ever smoking were strongly associated with CHD.


Classic risk factors are highly prevalent and frequently clustered, especially in adults aged 50 years and older. These findings raise concerns about future trends of already increased rates of CHD. Multifactorial and integrated population-based interventions need to be applied to reduce the burden of cardiovascular conditions.

Keywords: Coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, physical inactivity, smoking.