Guadagnare Salute

Epidemiologia e prevenzione delle malattie cerebro e cardiovascolari


Population surveys

Cardiovascular Epidemiological Observatory (Osservatorio Epidemiologico Cardiovascolare, OEC) 1998-2002

The Osservatorio Epidemiologico Cardiovascolare (OEC), result of the collaboration between the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss, National Institute of Health) and Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri (Anmco), was born in 1998 with a multiple objective: to describe the distribution of cardiovascular risk factors in the Italian population; to estimate the prevalence of high-risk conditions and life styles, i.e. hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, diabetes and cigarette smoking habit, physical inactivity; to estimate the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases of arteriosclerotic origin.


The OEC survey, conducted between 1998 and 2002, represented the first national survey for cardiovascular diseases. It identified 51 public hospital centres evenly distributed throughout the national territory with a ratio of 1 every 1.5 million inhabitants but ensuring at least one center for each region with a smaller population. Each centre enlisted a sample of 200 persons, 25 for each decade between 35 and 74 years of age and by gender, randomly selected from the resident population in the municipality chosen for the survey. A total sample of 9,712 people aged 35-74 years (4,908 men and 4,804 women) was examined. In addition to measurements and tests, blood samples were collected and stored in the biobank at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità.


The study continued as a longitudinal study including the follow-up of total and specific cause mortality and of fatal and non-fatal coronary and cerebrovascular events validated using MONICA diagnostic criteria. Follow-up data are available until 2004.

  • Population sample: 51 centres distributed in all regions; 4,908 men and 4,804 women aged 35-74 years.
  • Base line (year): 1998-2002.
  • Biological sample collection (year): 1998-2002.
  • Data collected at baseline: socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, educational level, occupation, marital status); lifestyles (smoking habit, alcohol consumption, physical activity); risk factors (blood pressure, heart rate, ECG read according to Minnesota code, body mass index, total and HDL cholesterol, triglyceridemia, glycaemia); drugs; history of cardiovascular diseases (previous myocardial infarction, stroke, angina pectoris, intermittent claudication, atrial fibrillation, left ventricular hypertrophy, previous aortocoronary bypass surgery or revascularization, transient ischemic attack-TIA).
  • Biological samples: N=9,712, serum and whole blood.
  • Follow-up data: total and specific cause mortality; fatal and non-fatal coronary and cerebrovascular events, available until 2004.

Procedures and methods


© Istituto Superiore di Sanita (ISS)