Screening Low-Income Women of Reproductive Age for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
Published Date:Mar 26 2013
Source:J Womens Health (Larchmt). 22(4):314-321.
Funding:5U48DP001944/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
GGF9/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
Identifying and treating chronic diseases, their precursors, and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors during family planning visits may improve long-term health and reproductive outcomes among low-income women. A cross-sectional study design was used to describe the prevalence of chronic diseases (hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes), their precursors (pre-hypertension, borderline high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes), and related CVD risk factors (such as obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity) among low-income women of reproductive age.
Prevalence of chronic diseases, their precursors, and related CVD risk factors were assessed for 462 out of 859 (53.8%) female family planning patients, ages 18–44 years, who attended a Title X clinic in eastern North Carolina during 2011 and 2012 and consented to participate. Data were obtained from clinical measurements, blood test results, and questionnaire. Differences in distribution of demographic and health care characteristics and CVD risk factors by presence of prehypertension and pre-diabetes were assessed by Pearson chi-square tests.
The prevalence of hypertension was 12%, high cholesterol 16%, and diabetes 3%. Nearly two-thirds of women with hypertension were newly diagnosed (62%) as were 75% of women with diabetes. The prevalence of pre-hypertension was 35%, pre-diabetes 31%, obesity 41%, smoking 32%, and physical inactivity 42%. The majority of participants (87%) had one or more chronic disease or related cardiovascular disease risk factor.
CVD screening during family planning visits can identify significant numbers of women at risk for poor pregnancy outcomes and future chronic disease and can provide prevention opportunities if effective interventions are available and acceptable to this population.
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