Objective: Existing literature shows considerable regional differences in terms of hypertension (HT) prevalence in Turkey. The purpose of this study was to analyze some of the known HT risk factors contributing to the variations between urban and rural areas of Turkey in HT development.
Methods: We used data from the 2011 Chronic Diseases and Risk Factors Survey that was conducted by the Turkish Ministry of Health on a representative sample of the Turkish adult population aged 20 years or more (n=16.227). HT was defined as having at least one of the following: a mean systolic/diastolic blood pressure of at least 140/90 mm Hg, a previously diagnosed disease, or use of antihypertensive medication. Stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate HT risk factors in urban and rural settings.
Results: Although the HT prevalence was higher in rural areas (28.4%) than in urban areas (23.9%), in this study, urbanization was found to be a contributing factor in multivariate regression analysis. Furthermore, separate regressions for urban and rural settings revealed that age, obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and smoking were independently and positively associated (p<0.05) with HT in both settings, while marital status, employment type, mental health, and lifestyle patterns; nutritional habits; and amount of physical activity and sedentary time (p<0.05) were risk indicators in urban areas only.
Conclusion: The findings of our study demonstrate that contributory factors show some variations between urban and rural settings, and on gender within each setting. Taking into account the variations between urban and rural areas in HT development may provide greater insight into the design of prevention strategies.
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