Risk factors for coronary heart disease in the black population of the Cape Peninsula. The BRISK study

K. Steyn, P. L. Jooste, L. Bourne, J. Fourie, C. J. Badenhorst, D. E. Bourne, M. L. Langenhoven, C. J. Lombard, H. Truter, J. Katzenellenbogen, M. Marais, A. Oelofse

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98 Citations (Scopus)


A cross-sectional study of risk factors for ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in a random sample of 986 black people aged 15-64 years living in the Cape Peninsula revealed a population at lower risk for IHD than other South Africans. Blood pressures of 140/95 mmHg or a bove were found in 14,4% of males and 13,7% of females. Fifty-two per cent of males and 8,4% of females smoked, while 16,5% of males and 25,8% of females had a total cholesterol (TC) level imparting risk for developing IHD. In this population the TC level is not a good surrogate measure for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol because of the high level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC) found in this population. A protective HDLC/TC ratio of 20% was found in 98% of males and 96,1% of females. When considering the three major reversible IHD risk factors at a high level of risk, 30,8% of males and 12,5% of females had at least one such a risk factor. The population was frequently exposed to the media, with 80% listening to the radio every day and 88% watching television at least once a week. This suggests that a healthy lifestyle could be promoted successfully by means of these media. In addition, schools should promote a healthy lifestyle and the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases should be incorporated into the evolving primary health care services in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-485
Number of pages6
JournalSouth African Medical Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes


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