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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-34

Multicentric study on prevalence and risk factors for hypertension and diabetes in tribal communities in Western and Northern Maharashtra

1 Research Laboratory, Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Pathology (KSR) and Biochemistry (KSV), Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Karad, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. M G Deo
Research Laboratory, Moving Academy of Medicine and Biomedicine, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_245_17

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Background and Objectives: Although a number of studies have been conducted on the prevalence of hypertension (HTN) and diabetes on tribal populations in different parts of India, comparative tribe-specific information is very meager. The main objective of this study is to generate tribe-specific information on the noncommunicable disorders (NCDs) and associated risk factors in scheduled tribes (STs) in Coastal and Western Maharashtra. Methods: The study was conducted on 1864 (females 960) adults (≥18 years) of both sexes in four dominant tribes in the region, namely, Bhils (748), Katkaris (560), Kokana (352), and Thakars (204), using the protocols approved by the Institutional Review Board. The study areas were geographically separated by large distances (250–500 km apart). Prevalence of overweight, diabetes, HTN, and hypercholesterolemia was measured using standard field-based techniques described in our earlier publication. Results: All STs in this study are grossly underweight; the Katkaris are worst affected. The prevalence of obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2), HTN (blood pressure ≥140 mmHg), diabetes (capillary blood glucose >126 mg/dl), and hypercholesterolemia (cholesterol ≥200 mg/dl) was 0.9%, 11.7%, 6.7%, and 0.6% respectively. There are no statistically significant inter-tribal differences in the prevalence of these parameters. Age and obesity appeared to be the most dominant risk factors for HTN. However, there is no clear-cut picture about the influence of risk factors on diabetes or hypercholesterolemia. Interpretation and Conclusion: The prevalence of NCDs is still very low in STs, probably due to near absence of the risk factors such as obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and hyperlipidemia. STs are highly endogamous, and the study areas are separated by large distances ruling out intermingling of tribes. Yet, there is no consistent inter-tribal prevalence pattern for NCDs. Although the sample size is small, the results support the view that environmental factors are likely to be more important than host genetics in the causation of NCDs.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow