Biochemical and nutritional indices as cardiovascular risk factors among Iranian firefighters

Nazli Azabdaftari, Reza Amani, Mohammad Taha Jalali
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 2009, 46 (Pt 5): 385-9

AIM: Limited cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk data are available for firefighters worldwide. This comparative study was aimed at investigating the biochemical and nutritional indices of firefighters in Iran.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Individuals' anthropometric measurements, including weight, height, and waist and hip circumferences, were measured and the percent of body fat (BF%) was also obtained. Blood sampling was done in order to determine lipid profile, including total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), lipoprotein a (Lp(a)) and fasting blood sugar (FBS) concentrations. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP) were also measured.

RESULTS: The mean ages of firefighters and administrative staff were 42.45 +/- 6.75 and 44.64 +/- 5.83 y, respectively. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 45% and 24% in firefighters and 54% and 23% in administrative staff, respectively. High waist-to-hip and waist-to-stature ratios were detected in 26.4% and 81.3% of firefighters versus 33.3% and 89.7% of the control group, respectively. No significant differences were observed between the mean of TC, TG, HDL-C, LDL-C and FBS concentrations. The mean of Lp(a) was significantly higher among firefighters (P<0.05). About half of the subjects in both groups had TC >5.17, TG >1.69, HDL-C <1.03 nmol/L and Lp(a) >25 mg/dL. There were no significant differences between the SBP and DBP of subjects. There was no significant difference in smoking habits between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Considering the high prevalence of overweight and obesity, high TC, TG and Lp(a) and low HDL-C concentrations among all firefighters, it seems necessary to provide fitness-promotion and nutritional education programs for the prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases such as CVD.

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