Document Detail

Prevalence of hypertension in Lithuanian mariners.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15633617     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Several international studies from Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, and Finland indicate contradicting findings regarding cardiovascular dysfunction among seamen, deep sea fishermen, and harbor workers. The purpose of the present survey was to evaluate the prevalence of hypertension in a selected group of Lithuanian seamen. The survey was conducted during a one year period and involved sailors from commercial, passenger, and fishing boats. The survey took into account the sailors' marital status, education, professional rank and duty, and length of stay at sea. It also included demographical data, complete family health history, the sailor's awareness about their health in general, and awareness about their blood pressure in particular. Their dietary habits, changes in body weight, the history of alcohol intake and tobacco usage were also recorded. Analysis of our data indicates that 44.9% of Lithuanian mariners suffer from a clinically significant elevation of blood pressure, as compared to 53% of the general population of Lithuania. Some of the leading risk factors are: a high cholesterol diet and increased body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol abuse, family situation and level of education. The high prevalence of the cardiovascular risk factors was to be found related to ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular illness. This may be influenced by poor eating habits, poor health awareness and other social and environmental factors which are common to seamen. Increased blood pressure is a widespread condition that affects a large portion of the population in developed countries. It is an important risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, as well as a significant preventable cause of mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which accounts for an estimated 17 million deaths each year. With hypertension, the risk of stroke increases 2.6-3.8 times, the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD)--2.0-2.2 times, and that of congestive heart failure (CHF)--3.0-4.0 times. Hypertension is often accompanied by other cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia, smoking, diabetes and increased body mass index (BMI). When hypertension is present in conjunction with other risk factors, the risk of mortality associated with IHD can increase tenfold. On the other hand, risk factors such as an increased BMI, smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of exercise and a diet high in salt and fatty foods can themselves play an instrumental role in the etiology of hypertension. Several studies have been performed on the prevalence of hypertension among the general population in Lithuania, which is higher than that of most other European countries. Reviews performed by the programs CINDI (Countrywide Integrated Noncommunicable Disease Intervention) and MONICA (MONItoring CArdiovascular Disease) determined that about half of all studied persons of middle age in Lithuania were hypertensive. Our work is the first study seeking to examine the prevalence of hypertension among Lithuanian seamen, as well as its association with various risk factors and dependence on demographic indices.
Algimantas Kirkutis; Sigita Norkiene; Pasaka Griciene; Jonas Gricius; Stephen Yang; Jonas Gintautas
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the Western Pharmacology Society     Volume:  47     ISSN:  0083-8969     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. West. Pharmacol. Soc.     Publication Date:  2004  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-06     Completed Date:  2005-01-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505899     Medline TA:  Proc West Pharmacol Soc     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  71-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Marine Medical Center at Klaipeda Seamen's Hospital, Faculty of Health Sciences, Klaipeda University, Lithuania.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
Blood Pressure
Body Mass Index
Hypertension / epidemiology*
Lithuania / epidemiology
Middle Aged
Risk Factors
Smoking / epidemiology
Socioeconomic Factors

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