Background: Cardiovascular diseases and risk factors are disproportionally concentrated among the socioeconomically disadvantaged in high-income countries; however, this relationship is not well-understood or documented in resource-limited countries.
Methods: We analysed data from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey to estimate age-, sex- and location-adjusted differences in blood pressure and blood glucose outcomes by categories of a standardized wealth index and education levels. Body mass index (BMI) was examined as a secondary outcome and also assessed as a potential confounder.
Results: There was strong evidence that the prevalence of hypertension was higher among Bangladeshi women than among men (33.6% vs 19.6%, P < 0.001), whereas the overall prevalence of hyperglycaemia was 7.1% with no evidence of sex differences. The likelihood of having hypertension was more than double for individuals in the highest vs lowest wealth quintile [odds ratio (OR) for men: 2.82, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.32-3.44; OR for women: 2.25, 95% CI: 1.90-2.67], and for individuals with the highest level of education attained vs those with no education (OR for men: 2.55, 95% CI: 2.06-3.16; OR for women: 1.42, 95% CI: 0.99-2.03). Likewise, the likelihood of having hyperglycaemia was more than four times higher in the wealthiest compared with the poorest individuals (OR for men: 6.48, 95% CI: 5.11-8.22; OR for women: 4.77, 95% CI: 3.72-6.12), and in individuals with the highest level of education attained vs those with no education (OR for men: 4.68, 95% CI: 3.56-6.15; OR for women: 5.02, 95% CI: 3.30-7.64). There were no appreciable differences in these trends when stratified by geographical location. BMI did not attenuate these associations and exhibited similarly positive associations with education and wealth.
Conclusions: Increasing levels of wealth and educational attainment were associated with an increased likelihood of having hypertension and hyperglycaemia in Bangladesh.
Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; demographic health surveys; hyperglycaemia; hypertension; socioeconomic.
© The Author 2015; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.