Iranian Journal of Public Health 2017. 46(5):591-601.

Life-course and Cohort Trajectories of Chronic Non-communicable Diseases Risk Factors in China


Background: NCDs are the leading disease burdens in China and the NCDs risk factors shifts have accelerated at an unprecedented scale over the past 30 years. The aim of this study was to analysis the natural trajectories of NCDs risk factors over the life course.

Methods: The large-scale longitudinal data from the CHNS includes nine rounds of surveys between 1989 and 2011. Overall, 145913 observations (29719 individuals) at multiple exams have been followed up over a 23-year period. The mixed-effects models with random intercepts were used to the characterize shifts in the distribution of these risk factors across the whole life course.

Results: During about 23 years observational period across all age bands, the mean AMC, UAC, TSF, BMI, WC, DBP, SD, DD, and PA trajectory all increased until a certain age. Then decreased in both gender, whereas SBP strictly increased across lifespan; and the secular trend in AMC and WC, SBP, DBP was greater in women than in men; younger generations had higher AMC, UAC, TSF, BMI, WC, WHR, WHtR, SBP, DBP levels across adulthood, whereas younger birth cohorts had lower SD, DD, and PA levels.

Conclusion: We observed in a large and comprehensive longitudinal dataset that provided strong evidence of population-wide secular shifts from childhood onwards, which suggests that promoting healthier lifestyles, body weight, blood pressure and enhancing the primary practitioner’s capability should be required to reduce the burden of NCDs in China.



Chronic non-communicable diseases;Risk factors;China;Life course

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