Comparison of trends in cardiovascular risk factors between two regions with and without a community and primary care prevention programme

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BackgroundThe effect of primary prevention of cardiovascular disease is debated. The Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP) is an individual and community-based public health programme that comprises the whole county of Västerbotten (VB). In the neighbouring county of Norrbotten (NB), no programmes have been implemented.MethodBetween 1994 and 2014, five surveys were performed in the two counties on persons aged 40 to 75 years within the Northern Sweden MONICA Study. The number of subjects participating was 6600 (75.4%). We compared time trends in risk factors between the two counties using regression models including age, county and year of survey. To test whether time trends differed between counties, the interaction between county and year was included in the models.ResultsSystolic blood pressure declined in both counties, and the decline was faster in Västerbotten than in Norrbotten (p = 0.043 for interaction county*year). Diastolic blood pressure declined in VB but increased in NB (p < 0.001). Cholesterol levels declined at a similar rate in both counties whereas body mass index increased in both counties. Fasting glucose decreased in VB (p = 0.003) and increased in NB. The prevalence of regular smokers decreased faster in VB than in NB (p = 0.01). Trend in waist and hip circumference, known diabetes, having an academic degree, being physically inactive or 10 year cardiovascular mortality according to SCORE did not differ.ConclusionBlood pressure, glucose and smoking improved at a faster rate in the county with a community and primary care-based intervention than in the county without such an intervention.

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