doi:10.1038/nindia.2012.136 Published online 19 September 2012
A nation-wide study has revealed that urban Indian women, with higher literacy and dietary fat intake than rural women, suffer more from hypertension, an important public health problem in India.
This, despite the fact that city women were found to be more aware of the woes of hypertension than rural women.
Researchers conducting a population based study among women aged 35-70 in four urban and five rural locations of India conclude that there is a high prevalence of hypertension in middle-aged Asian Indian women, very low overall awareness and poor treatment.
A total of 4608 women (2604 rural, 2004 urban) were studied based on their demographic details, medical history, diet, physical activity, anthropometry and blood pressure. Age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension was observed in 1672 of these women (39.2%) — 746 rural (31.5%) and 926 urban (48.2%). Hypertension awareness was noted in 727 women (42.8%), more in urban (529, 56.8%) than in rural (198, 24.6%).
Significant determinants of hypertension were urban location, greater literacy, high dietary fat, low fibre intake, obesity and truncal obesity.