Background Prevalence of cardiovascular disease and the risk factors associated with it are increasing globally and in particular throughout the developing world. The south Asian region is especially at risk because of the increasing prevalence of the said risk factors. The study was undertaken to investigate the impact of social class and area of residence in distribution of cardiovascular risk factors mainly hypertension and diabetes mellitus in Pakistan.
Methods A cross-sectional study on 2495 subjects aged between 30 and 75 years was conducted in the Punjab province covering both the urban and rural areas. A detailed questionnaire was completed; anthropometric measurements and blood samples from the chosen subjects were taken after a written informed consent was obtained. Participants were categorised into urban and rural, and assigned a social class by occupation. A logistic regression model was used to explore the association between social class and the area of residence
Results Overall prevalence of hypertension and diabetes was 24.21% and 16.63% respectively. Out of the total number of participants, 56.79% (n=1417) were rural area residents while 43.21% (n=1078) were urban. Urban individuals appeared significantly more likely (p<0.001) to be hypertensive (OR=3.03, 95% CI 2.41 to 4.82) and more likely (p<0.001) to be diabetic (OR=1.77, 95% CI 1.37 to 2.29) than rural dwellers after multivariate adjustments for age, gender, BMI and social class.
Conclusions The study thus concludes that the area of residence is a more powerful determinant associated with cardiovascular risk factors as compared to social class in Pakistani population.
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