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Urbanization and noncommunicable disease risk factors in Tamil Nadu

WHO Bulletin, forthcoming article

Level of urbanisation and noncommunicable disease risk factors in Tamil Nadu, India.

Full-text: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/4/09-065847.pdf

Steven Allender,a Ben Lacey,a Premila Webster, et al. 

 Objective – To investigate the poorly understood relationship between the process of urbanisation and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through the application of a quantitive measure of urbanicity.

Methods – We constructed a measure of the urban environment for seven areas using a seven-item scale based on data from the Indian Census 2001 to develop an ‘urbanicity’ scale. The scale was used in conjunction with data collected from 3705 participants in the 2003 WHO STEPwise risk factor surveillance survey in Tamil Nadu, India, to analyse the relationship between the urban environment and major NCD risk factors. Linear and logistic regression models were constructed examining the relationship between urbanicity and chronic disease risk.

Findings – Among men, urbanicity was positively associated with smoking (odds ratio, OR: 3.54; 95% confidence interval, CI: 2.4–5.1), body mass index (OR: 7.32; 95% CI: 4.0–13.6) and blood pressure (OR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.4–2.7), and negatively associated with physical activity (OR: 3.26; 95% CI: 2.5-4.3). Among women, urbanicity was positively associated with BMI (OR: 4.13; 95% CI: 3.0–5.7) and negatively associated with physical activity (OR: 6.48; 95% CI: 4.6– 9.2). In both sexes urbanicity was positively associated with the mean number of servings of fruit and vegetables consumed per day (P < 0.05).

Conclusion – Urbanicity is associated with the prevalence of several NCD risk factors in Tamil Nadu, India.

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