Disparities in Prevalence of Cardiometablic Risk Factors in Rural, Urban-Poor, and Urban-Middle Class Women in India

Indu Mohan et al, PLOS One


Urbanization is an important determinant of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. To determine location-based differences in CVD risk factors in India we performed studies among women in rural, urban-poor and urban middle-class locations.


Population-based cross-sectional studies in rural, urban-poor, and urban-middle class women (35–70y) were performed at multiple sites. We evaluated 6853 women (rural 2616, 5 sites; urban-poor 2008, 4 sites; urban middle-class 2229, 11 sites) for socioeconomic, lifestyle, anthropometric and biochemical risk factors. Descriptive statistics are reported.


Mean levels of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-hip ratio (WHR), systolic BP, fasting glucose and cholesterol in rural, urban-poor and urban-middle class women showed significantly increasing trends (ANOVAtrend, p <0.001). Age-adjusted prevalence of diabetes and risk factors among rural, urban-poor and urban-middle class women, respectively was, diabetes (2.2, 9.3, 17.7%), overweight BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (22.5, 45.6, 57.4%), waist >80 cm (28.3, 63.4, 61.9%), waist >90 cm (8.4, 31.4, 38.2%), waist hip ratio (WHR) >0.8 (60.4, 90.7, 88.5), WHR>0.9 (13.0, 44.3, 56.1%), hypertension (31.6, 48.2, 59.0%) and hypercholesterolemia (13.5, 27.7, 37.4%) (Mantel Haenszel X2 ptrend <0.01). Inverse trend was observed for tobacco use (41.6, 19.6, 9.4%). There was significant association of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes with overweight and obesity (adjusted R2 0.89–0.99).


There are significant location based differences in cardiometabolic risk factors in India. The urban-middle class women have the highest risk compared to urban-poor and rural.