Blood pressures were measured using standard techniques on a random sample of 961 rural and 1073 urban women chosen from North Arcot District in Tamilnadu State of south India. The mean (SD) systolic blood pressures (mm Hg) were 101.4 (10.5) in the rural women and 105.3 (14.1) in the urban. The mean (SD) diastolic blood pressures were 65.9 (9.9) in the rural women and 68.0 (10.8) in the urban. For both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, the urban values were significantly higher than those in the rural. The correlations of blood pressures with selected socioeconomic, obstetric, and maternal factors were examined. For the rural women, blood pressures showed significant associations only with parity and weight. In the urban women significant associations were also noted for age and income. The implications of these findings are briefly discussed.
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