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Global Health
September 17, 2014

Rural Uganda’s Heart Disease Risk Factors Go Up With Urbanization

JAMA. 2014;312(11):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.12653

Even modest increases in urban features in rural villages in Uganda are associated with a greater prevalence of lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease, report researchers from the United Kingdom, Uganda, and Australia (Riha J et al. PLoS Med. 2014;11[7]:e1001683).

In this cross-sectional study, the researchers used data collected in 2011 from more than 7000 people older than 13 years from 25 rural communities in Uganda. The researchers quantified the levels of urbanicity in the villages using a scale that included information about the size of and economic activity in each village and then used statistical models to examine associations between the distribution of urban characteristics and lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which included body mass index, physical inactivity, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.