Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) comprised 57% of all deaths at global scale in 1990, which increased to 70% in 2013. Ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular accidents were the top causes of death in 2013 across the globe. The share of NCDs in global disability (in terms of years of life lost due to disability) as well has increased from 76% in 1990 to 82% in 2013.
In Iran, ischemic heart disease was the first cause of death and stroke was the 5th cause in 2013. Overall, 236 thousand deaths were reported in Iran in 2013, out of which about 57% were caused by circulatory diseases and about 17% by cancers. There was a sharp increase in prevalent cases from 1990 to 2013.
At sub-national level, there are sparse population-based studies on prevalence of main NCDs and their risk factors. Apart from the cross-sectional prevalence, investigating the trend and prognosis of NCDs and their risk factors is mandatory as well, which can only be done within the setting of prospective studies. The results of very few population-based longitudinal studies in Iran have revealed high prevalence of CVDs and metabolic diseases in both urban and rural areas. Unhealthy diet, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and high cholesterol are the major risk factors of CVDs. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome reported among adult participants in these studies has been very high.
To the best of our knowledge, no population-based prospective study on NCDs has been established in South of Iran so far. PARS cohort study (PCS) was established in 2012. The methods of baseline data definition and collection and follow-up methods have been largely adopted from Golestan Cohort Study. Similarly, interventional studies are designed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of Polypill and the predictive performance of clinical and imaging risk scores. PARS cohort study can be a platform for further nested case-control studies and trials and also for strengthening the research network in the area.