Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The SHARP survey data comprises personal information, family history, lifestyle and risk factor prevalence for 19,400 men and women sampled from the Scottish working population between 1991 and 1996. The purpose of the survey was the achievement of a clearer understanding of coronary risk factor prevalence in the working population of Scotland; the education of that population through counselling and advice; and a clearer appreciation of an individual’s risk factor profile as a predictor for future events. In this paper a selection of attributes is explored for the information they yield about the characteristics of an apparently healthy population. Comparisons are drawn with earlier studies.

METHODS:

A mobile risk factor screening unit toured workplaces throughout Scotland and recorded information on age, sex, occupation, social class, personal and family history, smoking, alcohol and salt consumption, body mass index, blood pressure, glucose and total cholesterol.

RESULTS:

The variation in measured levels for common risk factors in a sample of apparently healthy Scottish people shows substantial differences from the measured variation in an unstratified survey.

CONCLUSIONS:

Across all conventional coronary risk factor measurements, working Scottish people are uniformly “more healthy” than the general population. A comparison of trend with age for male and female smokers and non-smokers in cholesterol level shows no difference between smokers and non-smokers; a similar comparison for body mass index and weight shows some consistent differences but without statistical significance.

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