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Are the Rates of Hypertension and Diabetes Higher in People from Lower Socioeconomic Status in Bangladesh? Results from a Nationally Representative Survey
Authors: Ismail Tareque, Atsushi Koshio, Andrew D. Tiedt, and Toshihiko Hasegawa
Source: PLOS ONE , 10(5):e0127954. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127954
Topic(s): Diabetes
Country: Asia
Published: MAY 2015
Abstract: Objective A well-established belief regarding inequalities in health around the world is that hypertension and diabetes are higher in groups of lower socioeconomic status. We examined whether rates of hypertension, diabetes, and the coexistence of hypertension and diabetes are higher in people from a lower socioeconomic status than in those from a higher socioeconomic status in Bangladesh. Methods We investigated a nationally representative dataset from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey with objective measures for hypertension and diabetes. A wealth index was constructed from data on household assets using principal components analysis. Chi-square tests and logistic regressions were performed to test the associations between wealth level, hypertension and diabetes. Findings People from the highest wealth quintile were significantly more likely to have hypertension (Adjusted odds ratios [AOR] = 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22-2.25), diabetes (AOR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.21-2.71), and the coexistence of hypertension and diabetes (AOR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.05-4.49) than people from the lowest wealth quintile. The odds of having hypertension, diabetes, and their coexistence were higher for older people, women, people who engaged in less physical labor, and people who were overweight and obese. Conclusion Wealthier people, particularly people from the fourth and highest wealth quintiles, should be careful to avoid unhealthy lifestyles to prevent hypertension and diabetes. Health policy makers and planners are urged to target wealthier strata in terms of hypertension and diabetes initiatives while paying special attention to older people, women, people who engage in less physical labor, and individuals who are overweight.