Changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors over 30 years in Polynesians in the French Pacific Territory of Wallis Island

Christine Linhart, Jean Michel Tivollier, Richard Taylor, Yann Barguil, Dianna J. Magliano, Chloé Bourguignon, Paul Zimmet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background Wallis Island is part of a French Territory in the South Pacific. In 1980 the prevalence of hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was low, consistent with a subsistence economy. Considerable social and economic changes have occurred over the last 30 years. Methods Survey data from 1980 and 2009 were analysed by sex in 10-year age groups, and 25-64 years age-standardised to the 2008 Census. Means and prevalences were calculated for blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, body mass index (BMI), blood cholesterol and triglycerides as risk factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. Results During 1980-2009 there were significant increases (p < 0.05) in age-standardised means and prevalences of blood pressure and hypertension, fasting plasma glucose and T2DM, BMI and obesity, blood cholesterol (men) and triglycerides; and non-significant increases in mean diastolic blood pressure and fasting plasma glucose in women. Mean cholesterol and the prevalence of elevated cholesterol declined in women. Hypertension prevalence increased from 12% to 43% in men and from 15% to 30% in women, with 42% of the increase in men and 33% of the increase in women statistically explained by increases in BMI. T2DM increased from 2.3% to 12.2% in men and from 4.0% to 15.8% in women, with 35% of the increase in men and 26% of the increase in women statistically explained by increases in BMI. Conclusions Risk factors for cardiovascular disease have increased considerably in Wallis Island over the past 30 years, consistent with modernisation in way of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-864
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Polynesia
  • cholesterol
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • risk factors
  • triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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