There are no recent data on the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (CVDRFs) in Lesotho. This study aims to assess the prevalence of CVDRFs and their determinants.
We conducted a household-based, cross-sectional survey among adults ≥18 y of age in 120 randomly sampled clusters in two districts.
Among 6061 participants, 52.2% were female and their median age was 39 y (interquartile range 27–58). The overall prevalence of overweight, diabetes, elevated blood pressure (BP) and tobacco use was 39.9%, 5.3%, 21.6% and 24.9%, respectively. Among participants, 34.6% had none, 45.2% had one and 20.2% had two or more CVDRFs. Women were more likely to have two or more CVDRFs (20.7% vs 12.3%). Overall, 7.5% of participants had elevated total cholesterol, 52.7% had low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and 1.6% had elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Among younger participants (18–29 y), 16.1% reported tobacco use, 28.6% were overweight, 1.5% had diabetes and 3.5% had elevated BP. Household wealth positively correlated with the prevalence of elevated BP, overweight and diabetes, whereas tobacco use was higher among people in the lowest three wealth quintiles.
CVDRFs are highly prevalent in Lesotho across age and sex groups, underlining the importance of strengthening prevention and care programs in Lesotho and similar settings in southern Africa.