The present study was aimed to determine the prevalence rate of dyslipidemia, and the awareness, treatment, and control of dyslipidemia in Xinjiang (northwestern China). We found that the prevalence of dyslipidemia was high in this area. The Chinese national nutrition and health survey (CNHS) indicated that the prevalence of dyslipidemia was 18.6% in the Chinese national average in 2002[15, 16]. Wu et al. reported that the prevalence of dyslipidemia of the population in Shanghai was 36.5% in 2003. Studies reported that the prevalence of dyslipidemia in the Beijing adult population was 30.3% in 2007 and 35.4% in 2008[4, 17]. It was reported that economic growth and associated changes in lifestyle and diet might contribute to the increase of the prevalence of dyslipidemia in the Chinese population. However, it was obvious that the prevalence of dyslipidemia in the three ethnic in Xinjiang were significantly higher than that in the other areas of China even the economically developed areas in China. This may be associated with the residents in Xinjiang were characterized by eating more animal fat, drinking strong wine, with a higher salt intake (>20 g per day), and consuming less grain, fresh vegetables, beans, bean products, and unsaturated fatty acids. A significant difference of the prevalence of dyslipidemia was also observed among the subgroups classified by the sex and the age. The prevalence was higher in men that in women among participants under age 55, but the results were reversed in the participants older than 55 years. The phenomenon was consistent with the results of the Wu et al.. The increased prevalence among older women may be associated to differences in estrogen levels between pre- and post-menopausal women.
In Xinjiang area, higher levels of dyslipidemia was found among the smokers (ex and current) and current drinkers. Those results are in agreement with other sources[20–22], and indicate the clustering of common cardiovascular risk factors within these populations.
We also observed that the prevalence of dyslipidemia in the Han ethnic was significantly higher than that in the Uygur and Kazak ethnic, the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not clear. It is believed that the different dietary habits among the three ethnics may play an important role. The Han population consisted mainly of animal fats, such as pork, and the principal food was carbohydrate, especially refined flour or rice, whereas the Uygur and Kazak people subsist chiefly on beef, mutton, and milk products. Furthermore, the Uygur and Kazak population were characterized by eating onion, tea, yogurt, and nuts, which can promote lipid absorption, digestion, and decomposition. Moreover, most of the Uygur and Kazak participations lived in cold and semiarid regions, they need more energy to cope with the cold whether than the Han population who most of them lived in the warm and plain regions. In addition, different of genetic backgrounds and gene-environment interactions might also be important factors underlying the different prevalence of dyslipidemia among the three ethnic.
The prevalence of dyslipidemia in the Xinjiang area was surprisingly high, but the rate of awareness, treatment, and control of dyslipidemia was significantly low in the participations based on the present study. For Han ethnic, the percentage of awareness, treatment, and control of participations with dyslipidemia was 53.67%, 22.51%, and 17.09%, respectively. For Uygur ethnic, the percentage was 42.19%, 27.78%, 16.20%, and for Kazak ethnic, the percentage was 37.02%, 21.11%, 17.77%. We found that the awareness and treatment of dyslipidemia were significantly higher in our study than that in the previous studies[4, 6, 25]. However, the control of dyslipidemia in our study was unacceptably low among the all participants who with dyslipidemia. It meant that the dyslipidemia has become one of the important health risk factors in the Xinjiang. Therefore, a national dsylipidemia education program that to promote community- and clinic-based serum lipid screening was urgently needed. Physicians must regularly check their patients’ serum lipids, and a more aggressive serum lipid-lowering goal and strategy must be utilized.
Our study was a large, comprehensive epidemiologic evaluation of ethnic and sex difference in dyslipidemia, but it did have some limitations. Firstly, the CRS was a cross-sectional study, potential recall bias of self-reported might affect the condition of dyslipidemia in Xinjiang. Secondly, our study enrolled the three main ethnics (Han, Uygur, Kazak) which consisted more than 90 percentage of the population in Xinjiang. Nevertheless, there were nearly more than 10 ethnic minorities lived in Xinjiang generation by generation, the status of dyslipidemia was still unclear.