Prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in Bangladesh: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Kaniz Fatema, Nicholas Arnold Zwar, Abul Hasnat Milton, Liaquat Ali, Bayzidur Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Given the rising incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in Bangladesh, an improved understanding of the epidemiology of CVD risk factors is needed. Therefore, we reviewed published studies on CVD modifiable risk factors e.g., Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), hypertension (HTN), dyslipidemia and smoking as well as studies on CVDs and conducted a meta-analysis of risk factors and disease prevalence. Methods: We searched the GLOBAL HEALTH, MEDLINE, EMBASE 'BanglaJol' databases for all studies in English on CVDs and its associated modifiable risk factors. Random effects meta-analysis methods were used to estimate pooled prevalence. Results: There were 74 eligible studies (outcome: T2DM = 32, HTN = 24, dyslipidaemia = 8 and smoking = 25; CVDs = 10). Due to high between study heterogeneity (p<0.001, I2> 95%) in the prevalence of CVD risk factors, we presented median and interquartile range (IQR) instead of the pooled estimates as the summary measures. Median (IQR) prevalence of T2DM, HTN, dyslipidemia and smoking were 5.9% (1.97%-8.25%); 15.1% (10.52%-17.60%); 34.35% (10.66%-48.50%) and 40.56% (0.80%-55.95%), respectively. The prevalence of T2DM and dyslipidemia were significantly higher in urban compared to rural populations (13.5 vs 6%, p<0.001; 41.5 vs 30%, p = 0.007, respectively). Conclusions: The prevalence of risk factors for CVDs is high in Bangladesh, more so in urban areas. Ageing of the population may be a factor but urbanization seems to have an influence, possibly related to changes in dietary and physical activity patterns. Further research, in particular longitudinal studies, is needed to explore the complex interaction of these factors and to inform policies and programs for the prevention and management of CVDs in Bangladesh.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0160180
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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