DH Latest NewsDH NEWSLatest NewsNEWSHealth

Heart disease risk factors detected in adults in low-income nations

New research published in Nature Human Behaviour reveals that adults residing in extreme poverty within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are affected by health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, which are associated with heart disease. Despite common assumptions that environmental factors and physically demanding lifestyles might mitigate cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among those in extreme poverty, the study found that CVD risk factors were prevalent regardless of income level and could potentially rise as LMICs undergo economic development. The research, led by Stanford University in the US, analyzed data from over 100 nationally representative household surveys across 78 countries, encompassing more than 3 million individuals, with a significant representation from LMICs, including India.

The study identified several CVD risk factors—including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and abnormal lipid levels in blood—among adults living in extreme poverty, with substantial proportions remaining untreated for these conditions. Despite covering a substantial portion of the global population and individuals living in extreme poverty, the study noted that its findings might be limited by potential measurement errors and could overestimate CVD risk among adults in extreme poverty. Nonetheless, the research serves as a crucial empirical foundation for addressing health disparities and improving outcomes for individuals in the poorest segments of global society, according to corresponding author Pascal Geldsetzer, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.

The findings challenge conventional beliefs about the prevalence of CVD risk factors among those living in extreme poverty in LMICs and underscore the importance of understanding and addressing these health challenges. Study author Till Baernighausen from Heidelberg University emphasized the significance of prioritizing health policy and care delivery interventions based on accurate assessments of CVD risk factors among populations in extreme poverty. Further research into the specific mechanisms underlying CVD risk in this demographic is crucial for informing equity discussions, resource allocation, and the design of effective interventions, as highlighted by study author Sebastian Vollmer, Professor of Development Economics at the University of Göttingen, Germany.


Post Your Comments

Back to top button