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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 144  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 460-471

Prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases in rural & urban Tamil Nadu

1 Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
2 Department of Cardiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
Anu Mary Oommen
Department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.198668

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Background & objectives: Surveillance of risk factors is important to plan suitable control measures for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The objective of this study was to assess the behavioural, physical and biochemical risk factors for NCDs in Vellore Corporation and Kaniyambadi, a rural block in Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, India. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out among 6196 adults aged 30-64 yr, with 3799 participants from rural and 2397 from urban areas. The World Health Organization-STEPS method was used to record behavioural risk factors, anthropometry, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and lipid profile. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess associations between risk factors. Results: The proportion of tobacco users (current smoking or daily use of smokeless tobacco) was 23 per cent in the rural sample and 18 per cent in the urban, with rates of smoking being similar. Ever consumption of alcohol was 62 per cent among rural men and 42 per cent among urban men. Low physical activity was seen among 63 per cent of the urban and 43 per cent of the rural sample. Consumption of fruits and vegetables was equally poor in both. In the urban sample, 54 per cent were overweight, 29 per cent had hypertension and 24 per cent diabetes as compared to 31, 17 and 11 per cent, respectively, in the rural sample. Physical inactivity was associated with hypertension, body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m[2], central obesity and dyslipidaemia after adjusting for other factors. Increasing age, male sex, BMI ≥25 kg/m[2] and central obesity were independently associated with both hypertension and diabetes. Interpretation & conclusions: Diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, physical inactivity and overweight were higher in the urban area as compared to the rural area which had higher rates of smokeless tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Smoking and inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables were equally prevalent in both the urban and rural samples. There is an urgent need to address behavioural risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables through primary prevention.

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