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An Assessment of Preventable Risk Factors for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases in an Adult Population

Author(s): N.P. Kumar | H.S. Shankaregowda | R. Revathy

Journal: Asian Journal of Epidemiology
ISSN 1992-1462

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 9;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Chronic diseases | risk factors | hypertension | smoking | overweight

To assess the prevalence of selected risk factors for chronic disease and the association of these risk factors with sociodemographic variables, a cross sectional study was conducted in a representative sample of adults aged 40 years or more in the district of Shimoga. A sample of 992 subjects was selected from all the blocks of the district using the World Health Organizations STEPwise approach to surveillance of chronic disease risk factors. The study participants blood pressure was measured; their body mass index calculated and collected information on self-reported smoking status. The extent to which, being overweight, hypertension, smoking and various combinations of these risk factors were associated with the study participants education level, occupational category and economic status was measured. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 14 and multivariate logistic regression model to note the associations between the outcome variables and select demographic variables. Mean blood pressure levels were higher among men than among women and increased progressively with age. Sixty three percent of men were current smokers and 58% were current daily smokers; less than 1% of women smoked. Mean body mass index was 19.6 among men and 19.9 among women and only 3.5% of the population was overweight. Education level was inversely associated with the prevalence of hypertension among both men and women and with the prevalence of smoking among men. Hypertension was directly associated with socioeconomic status among men but inversely associated with socioeconomic status among women. India is experiencing an increase in the prevalence of many risk factors for chronic diseases and is in urgent need of interventions to reduce the prevalence of these risk factors and to deal with the chronic diseases to which they contribute.
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