Occupational status and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the rapidly developing, high-risk population of Mauritius

Mark A. Pereira, Andrea M. Kriska, Veronica R. Collins, Gary K. Dowse, Jaakko Tuomilehto, K. George M.M. Alberti, H. Gareeboo, F. Hemraj, A. Purran, D. Fareed, G. Brissonnette, Paul Z. Zimmet

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31 Scopus citations


This study examined the relation between occupation and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in 2,795 individuals between ages 35 and 54 years from the rapidly developing island nation of Mauritius. Participants attended a 1992 population-based survey of noncommunicable disease (89.1% response rate). Occupational status, physical activity in the previous year, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption were assessed by questionnaire. Anthropometric and metabolic measures included body mass index (kg/m2), waist-to-hip ratio, fasting serum high density lipoprotein cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), triglycerides, 2-hour postload plasma glucose and serum insulin concentrations, and blood pressure. In comparison with professional/skilled workers, age-adjusted means of insulin and glucose, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly (p < 0.05) lower, and the age- adjusted mean for high density lipoprotein cholesterol was significantly higher for unskilled men. In women, risk factors other than LDL cholesterol varied significantly (p < 0.05) across occupational categories, with homemakers tending to have the least favorable profile. Unskilled workers reported significantly more physical activity (p < 0.01), alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking (men only) (p < 0.05) than did the other groups. Adjustment for multiple covariates revealed an independent association between occupational status and most CVD risk factors, with physical activity attenuating this association. These results elucidate mediating behaviors of CVD risk across occupational categories that could be applied to intervention strategies in Mauritius.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-163
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1998


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Occupations
  • Risk factors
  • Socioeconomic factors


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