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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 342-346
Changing perspectives in tribal health: Rising prevalence of lifestyle diseases among tribal population in India

1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Public Health, Tirupattur Health District, Government of Tamilnadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Sathiyanarayanan
Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalagiri, Vijayawada - 520 008, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_40_19

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Background: The major focus of studies related to health among tribes in India has been on malnutrition. The world is in the stage of epidemiological transition, and noncommunicable diseases are overtaking the communicable diseases not only in general but also among the tribal population. Objectives: A cross-sectional study was conducted to find out the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension among the tribal population. Methodology: A house-to-house survey using a semi-structured questionnaire was conducted in three randomly selected tribal villages. Participants aged 18 and above from both genders were included. Blood pressure was recorded and random blood sugar was estimated for all the participants. Chi-square test was used to study association for categorical variables and one-way ANOVA and Student's t-test were used to study association for continuous variables. A P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 952 tribal people were interviewed. About 40.2% were males and 59.8% were females. About 82.2% were Illiterate. 18.9% were underweight compared to 8.8% who were overweight or obese. The prevalence of diabetes was 3.8% (36 participants) of which 77.8% was newly detected. Increasing age was associated with diabetes. Overall, prevalence of hypertension was 16.7% (159 participants) of which 62.9% were newly detected. Age, gender, body mass index, and literacy status were associated with the presence of hypertension. Only eight participants had both diabetes and hypertension. Conclusion: Noncommunicable diseases burden in tribal population is as high as in the general population. Effective strategies to prevent this have to be devised.

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