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Leong L, Chia SE
Correspondence: Dr Lucy Leong, Lucy_Leong@mom.gov.sg
Introduction This study aimed to determine the prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among health workers (HWs) and non-health workers (NHWs) in a large hospital in Singapore.
Methods A cross-sectional prevalence survey of 3,384 hospital staff was conducted. The study comprised a selfadministered questionnaire, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurements, and laboratory analysis of fasting blood samples of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and plasma glucose. HWs were doctors and nurses, while NHWs were health administrators, facility staff, clerks and administrative personnel.
Results A total of 3,384 out of 3,987 eligible staff (response rate 84.9%) participated in the survey . The majority of the participants were female (81%, n = 2,755), and 64% (n = 2,179) were 20–39 years old. HWs comprised almost two-thirds of the staff employed (61.3%, n = 2076), of whom 87.7% were female, while 72.5% of NHWs were female. Compared to HWs, NHWs had a higher adjusted (age, ethnic group and gender) prevalence of personal history of diabetes mellitus (adjusted prevalence rate ratio [PRR] 1.64, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–2.64), cigarette smoking (adjusted PRR 1.85, 95% CI 1.48–2.32), obesity (adjusted PRR 1.36, 95% CI 1.05–1.75) and elevated systolic pressure (adjusted PRR 1.74, 95% CI 1.31–2.31).
Conclusion The prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in NHWs is higher than that in HWs. Health promotion programmes should address this captive and neglected audience in healthcare organisations.