Navigation Links
'Diseases of affluence' spreading to poorer countries

High blood pressure and obesity are no longer confined to wealthy countries, a new study has found.

These health risks have traditionally been associated with affluence, and in 1980, they were more prevalent in countries with a higher income.

The new research, published in Circulation, shows that the average body mass index of the population is now just as high or higher in middle-income countries. For blood pressure, the situation has reversed among women, with a tendency for blood pressure to be higher in poorer countries.

Researchers at Imperial College London, Harvard School of Public Health, and worldwide collaborators studied data from 199 countries between 1980 and 2008 on the prevalence of risk factors related to heart and circulatory disease. In 1980, a country's income was correlated with the population's average blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI).

By 2008, there was no relationship between national income and blood pressure in men, and in women blood pressure was higher in poorer countries. BMI was still lowest in the poorest countries, but higher in middle-income countries than the wealthiest countries. Cholesterol remained higher in higher-income Western countries.

Fasting blood sugar, which is linked to diabetes, was only weakly related with income and affluence, but correlated with obesity.

Professor Majid Ezzati, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, who led the research, said: "This study shows that non-communicable diseases are no longer 'diseases of affluence'. They've shifted from being epidemic in rich countries to become a truly international pandemic.

"If current trends continue, developing countries will be confronted with a rising tide of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Meanwhile, developed countries will continue to face an epidemic of diabetes and high cholesterol."

The study also found that BMI has consistently been related to the proportion of the population living in cities, suggesting that urban lifestyles might be playing an important role in the obesity problem, now and in the past.

The researchers suggest that the change in relationship between national income and blood pressure might be caused by improved diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure in wealthier countries, and perhaps changes in diet and lifestyle.

"Developed countries have succeeded in reducing blood pressure," said Dr. Goodarz Danaei, one of the lead authors of the study from Harvard School of Public Health. "We need to replicate that success in developing countries by improving primary health care services, lowering salt intake and making fresh fruit and vegetables more available.

"High cholesterol is still linked to national wealth, probably because of the relatively high cost of meat and other animal products. Lower income countries should encourage the use of unsaturated fats over saturated fats to avoid the problems that richer countries have.

"Heart and circulatory diseases impose a huge cost on healthcare systems in high and middle income countries. Redirecting some of these resources to prevention might lead to savings in the long run."


Contact: Sam Wong
Imperial College London

Related medicine news :

1. AstraZeneca and DNDi to collaborate on drug screening for neglected tropical diseases
2. Range of diagnostic spinal fluid tests needed to differentiate concurrent brain diseases
3. Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases launched to tackle killer diseases
4. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
5. Comprehensive report documents impact of urologic diseases on American public
6. Super-sensitive tests could detect diseases earlier
7. Outstanding high school students receive awards to stimulate research interest in digestive diseases
8. Holy glycosylation! New bat signal flags distressed cells in childhood genetic diseases
9. Preventing Oral Diseases Begins in Pregnancy Claims Author in New eBook
10. Hepatitis C may increase deaths from both liver-related and other diseases
11. Evolutionary information improves discovery of mutations associated with diseases
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The National Association of ... into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this ... exclusively for professional women, boasting 850,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... carrier to offer individual vision insurance plans on . The multi-carrier ... to rate and review products, allowing consumers to compare, quote and match plans ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Stress, anxiety, illness, infection or ... worry about possible tumors? , Heather Spader, MD, a new pediatric neurosurgeon at Joe ... some signs might point to tumors. , “Bad headaches that don’t go ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... MOSI recently added two ... along with Back to the Jurassic to their collection of interactive exhibits within the ... dynamic worlds that will allow guests to get closer than ever to a range ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... MI, the American Cancer Society held an annual fundraising event, a 5K walk known ... a holistic treatment center for substance abuse which is also located in Battle Creek, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Kevin Smith has been appointed Chief ... pioneer in wireless monitoring of vital signs.  As ... , Mr. Smith will be responsible for the ... He will also directly oversee partnering with US ... for SensiumVitals, the first early warning detection device ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  PTS Diagnostics, the U.S.-based manufacturer of point-of-care ... A1CNow ® systems, and PTS Detect™ cotinine systems, ... that will propel the company into the mHealth market. ... Europe . The technology is a system that ... smartphones and tablets, and uses test strip technology already ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Wash. and ST. LOUIS ... Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today announced an ... The partnership, which began in 1999, will now extend ... --> After evaluating pharmacy benefit manager ... concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer the best ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: