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Migrating husbands and changing cardiovascular risk factors in the wife: a cross sectional study in Asian Indian women


Objective The authors studied the influence of migration of husband on cardiovascular risk factors in Asian Indian women.

Methods Population-based studies in women aged 35–70 years were performed in four urban and five rural locations. 4608 (rural 2604 and urban 2004) of the targeted 8000 (57%) were enrolled. Demographic details, lifestyle factors, anthropometry, fasting glucose and cholesterol were measured. Multivariate logistic and quadratic regression was performed to compare influence of migration and its duration on prevalence of risk factors.

Results Details of migration were available in 4573 women (rural 2267, rural–urban migrants 455, urban 1552 and urban–rural migrants 299). Majority were married, and illiteracy was high. Median (interquartile) duration of residence in urban locations among rural–urban migrants was 9 (4–18) years and in rural areas for urban–rural migrants 23 (18–30) years. In rural, rural–urban migrants, urban and urban–rural migrants, age-adjusted prevalence (%) of risk factors was tobacco use 41.9, 22.7, 18.8 and 38.1; sedentary lifestyle 69.7, 82.0, 79.9 and 74.6; high-fat diet 33.3, 54.2, 66.1 and 61.1; overweight 21.3, 42.7, 46.3 and 29.7; large waist 8.5, 38.5, 29.2 and 29.2; hypertension 30.4, 49.4, 47.7 and 38.4; hypercholesterolaemia 14.4, 31.3, 26.6 and 9.1 and diabetes 3.9, 15.8, 14.9 and 8.4, respectively (p<0.001). In rural–urban migrants, there was a significant correlation of duration of migration with waist size, waist-to-hip ratio and systolic blood pressure (quadratic regression, p<0.001). Association of risk factors with migration remained significant, though attenuated, after adjustment for socioeconomic, lifestyle and obesity variables (logistic regression, p<0.01).

Conclusions Compared with rural women, rural–urban migrants and urban have significantly greater cardiometabolic risk factors. Prevalence is lower in urban–rural migrants. There is significant correlation of duration of migration with obesity and blood pressure. Differences are attenuated after adjusting for social and lifestyle variables.

  • CHD/coronary heart
  • hypertension
  • lipids
  • atherosclerosis
  • blood pressure
  • epidemiology
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • access to health care
  • biostatistics
  • birth weight
  • breast feeding

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