Risk factors for coronary heart disease in populations of Tanzania

Mbalilaki, Juia Aneth
PhD candidate

Strømme, Sigmund B.
supervisor

Høstmark, Arne T.
external supervisor

Published:

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Formal title

Comparison of risk factors for coronary heart disease in a sample of the rural and urban populations of Tanzania with special reference to the level of physical activity

Formal

To estimate and compare the level of some risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) in a sample of the rural and urban populations of Tanzania, with particular reference to the level of physical activity, and the relationships between physical activity level and other coronary risk factors.

Description

A cross-sectional study to estimate levels of selected coronary risk factors in females and males aged 30 – 60, such as blood pressure, body mass index, obesity, serum lipids, physical activity and percentage of alcohol and tobacco users, and users of several types of diets.

Setting

The indigenous inhabitants of Temeke - Kigamboni, Tanga - Handeni and Arusha - Monduli districts (rural population), and residents of the city of Dar-Es-Salaam and Morogoro town (urban population).

Participants

A sample of 985 subjects was surveyed. From the rural area 501 subjects (females: 256, and males: 245), and from the urban area 484 subjects (females: 255, and males: 229) participated in the study.

Result

The findings from this population-based survey in Tanzania suggest that urbanization is accompanied by an unfavourable alteration of several coronary risk factors.

The urban group had a lower level of physical activity than the rural group, higher blood pressure, body mass index, blood lipids, prevalence of obesity and a higher percentage of subjects reporting high fat/high carbohydrate diet.

Although the levels of some selected coronary risk factors in the sample of the Tanzanian population were low compared to those reported from studies conducted in western communities, the observed urban-rural differences might be indicative of a progress towards an increase in coronary heart disease, as the population becomes more urbanized.

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