Profile development of noncommunicable chronic diseases in a Brazilian rural town.J Am Coll Nutr. 2015; 34(3):191-8.JA
To assess the relationship between socioeconomic and anthropometric data, frequency of food consumption, and the development of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in patients from a small rural town in northeastern Brazil.
A cross-sectional questionnaire study was performed on patients from the Lagarto City Hospital (n = 50) and from family health units (n = 370).
The 420 patients in the study had one or more NCDs such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia. The mean age was 63.1 ± 8.7 years for both sexes. The typical patient was of mixed or black descent (66%), a farmer, and of low socioeconomic status and education; 100% of men and 84% of women were illiterate or had less than 4 years of schooling. Approximately 50% of women and 89% of men were married and most had never used tobacco or were ex-smokers. The body mass index (BMI) of the study population was 29.4 ± 5.5 kg/m(2), where 70% of the patients were type 2 diabetic with waist circumferences of 99.8 ± 21.2 cm for men and 98.1 ± 13.9 cm for women. The correlation between BMI and waist circumference was r = 0.88. Even with the use of medication, total cholesterol levels of above 240 mg/dL were recorded in 10% of women and about 5% of men. Likewise, 10% of women and 100% of men had triglyceride levels above 200 mg/dL; glucose levels were 133.6 ± 47.4 mg/dL in men and 110.8 ± 38.8 mg/dL in women. Blood pressure values were high, even in patients using one or more antihypertensive drugs for at least 2 years (systolic pressure = 128.5 ± 18.2; diastolic pressure = 86.3 ± 8.9 mmHg). Indices considered above the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) were obtained for 60% of women and 100% of men. Our research revealed that this population is characterized by a relatively low intake of fats and oils. Nevertheless, 100% of patients consumed meat every day, 57.6% never consumed processed foods such as candy or soft drinks, and 89% consumed coffee daily. Furthermore, the consumption of fruits was very low: 46.6% of respondents never ate fruit and 7.8% rarely consumed fruit. Likewise, 68.2% reported never eating milk and dairy products. Vegetables were consumed by only 51.4% of the population and 38.5% rarely or never consumed green vegetables. Products made from wheat, maize, cassava, beans, and rice were often consumed by 59.2% of the population.
Our results indicate that the studied population is affected by nutritional transition, in which the greater access to carbohydrates and animal proteins is associated with high BMI, with the vast majority overweight and suffering from uncontrolled hypertension despite the use of medications. The high consumption of carbohydrates and animal protein, rapid urbanization, and sedentary lifestyle are the main factors responsible for the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases, especially among people with low income and education. Men are particularly affected, with increased visceral fat characterized by an increased waist circumference.