(HealthDay News) – Risk factors for chronic disease seem to be common in Vietnam, and include high blood pressure, increasing overweight and obesity, tobacco and alcohol use, and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease.

Because chronic diseases account for the majority of ailments among low-income Asian populations, researchers reviewed current literature on chronic diseases to examine patterns and data gaps on chronic disease risk factors in Vietnam. Damian Hoy, PhD, from the University of Queensland in Herston, Australia, and colleagues reviewed the literature and considered all population-based studies published from 2000–2012. Twenty-three studies conducted before 2010 were included.

The researchers found that the most common risk factor studied was being overweight or obese, followed by high blood pressure and tobacco use. Among men, tobacco and alcohol use were high, while tobacco use possibly was increasing among Vietnamese women. High blood pressure was common, although the knowledge that people had about their high blood pressure was low. International criteria for fruit and vegetable consumption were not met for a high proportion of diets. There was an increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. Dietary patterns and total calorie intake were not assessed, and only one study measured dietary salt intake.

“This study indicates that risk factors for chronic diseases are common in Vietnam,” the authors write. “Although there is existing information on these risk factors, more recent and context-specific information is required for planning and monitoring interventions against risk factors and chronic disease in Vietnam.”

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