The cardiovascular health of residents in selected metropolitan cities in China

Frank H K FU*, Lena FUNG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background. To better understand the cardiovascular health and leisure-time physical activity of residents in major metropolitan cities in China, 2196 subjects (39.0 ± 10.7 years) who lived in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong were investigated. Methods. During the months of January to June 2001, residents of the three cities who went through annual medical examinations at participating hospitals and exercise physiology laboratories were recruited as subjects, with a target of 800-900 subjects per city. Data on their behavior and health-related cardiovascular heart disease (CHD) risk factors were assessed. Results and conclusions. It was found that over 80% of the subjects were sedentary (participating less than 90 min/week in leisure physical activity). The percentages of subjects having three or more cardiovascular heart disease risk factors were highest in Beijing (72.2%), followed by Shanghai (53.5%) and then Hong Kong (29.3%), suggesting that the cardiovascular health of Hong Kong residents was the best. It was noted that while all cities have similar health problems, there were significant differences in CHD risk factor due to geographical differences: Beijing residents smoked, drank, had high serum cholesterol and did not exercise; Shanghai residents had high blood pressure and drank; and Hong Kong residents were overweight and had lower HDL level. It was found that as subjects grew older, their cardiovascular health became worse. Gender differences were also observed - female subjects have generally fewer CHD risk factors and thus better health than male subjects. A model to examine the effects of age and behavior-related factors on health was developed for each city. Implications on planning strategies and primary prevention programs of CHD were discussed, in light of intervening identified risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-467
Number of pages10
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cardiovascular heart disease
  • Primary prevention
  • Quality of life
  • Well-being


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