Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Grenadian Women

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Todd, Angela Fachini
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Middle Tennessee State University
Objective: To assess the knowledge and understanding of dietary behavior as risk factors for hypertension among the female residents of Grenada, West Indies.
Design: A Cross-sectional, population study using an interviewer assisted questionnaire developed and validated for the study. The questionnaire consisted of questions on medical history of hypertension, weekly food consumption, body measurements, and a modified 16 question behavior-knowledge questionnaire.
Subjects: A convenience sample (n = 100) of Grenadian women, aged 18-84, who attended Health Fairs and Clinics around the Island.
Results: A regression analysis found there to be no significant association between total dietary knowledge scores and blood pressure (t = -1.33, p = 0.19). Logistic regression was then used to determine the predictive power of the control variables on hypertension diagnosis. Age and body mass index were the only two variables that were found to be significant, Wald x2 (1) = 17.02, p < 0.001 and Wald x2 (2) = 9.82, p < 0.05, respectively. A chi-square test of independence analysis found there to be a significant positive relationship between adding salt to meals and blood pressure (x2 (1) = 6.20, p = 0.01), and eating sweets and blood pressure (x2 (3) = 10.94, p = 0.01). Women who have been previously diagnosed as having hypertension are 3.88 times more likely to add salt to their meal than a woman who has not been previously diagnosed with hypertension. Women who eat sweets are more likely to be diagnosed with hypertension than women who choose to never eat sweets.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that women in Grenada, West Indies were aware of dietary behaviors associated with hypertension, however, there was no association between their knowledge and their blood pressure diagnosis. A little less than half the women surveyed were previously diagnosed as hypertensive, and continued to add excess salt to their food. Continuous efforts in dietary intervention are needed to ensure that future efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality from non-communicable disease risk factors among women in Grenada are met with success.
Dietary Behavior, Health equality, Hypertension, Non-communicable Disease, Risk Factors for Disease, Under-served populations