Background: Multiple factors are associated with the risk of diabetes and hypertension. In India, they vary widely even from one district to another. Therefore, strategies for controlling diabetes and hypertension should appropriately address local risk factors and take into account the specific causes of the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension at sub-population levels and in specific settings. This paper examines the demographic and socioeconomic risk factors as well as the spatial disparity of diabetes and hypertension among adults aged 15-49 years in Northeast India.
Methods: The study used data from the Indian Demographic Health Survey, which was conducted across the country between 2015 and 2016. All men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 years were tested for diabetes and hypertension as part of the survey. A Bayesian geo-additive model was used to determine the risk factors of diabetes and hypertension.
Results: The prevalence rates of diabetes and hypertension in Northeast India were, respectively, 6.38% and 16.21%. The prevalence was higher among males, urban residents, and those who were widowed/divorced/separated. The functional relationship between household wealth index and diabetes and hypertension was found to be an inverted U-shape. As the household wealth status increased, its effect on diabetes also increased. However, interestingly, the inverse was observed in the case of hypertension, that is, as the household wealth status increased, its effect on hypertension decreased. The unstructured spatial variation in diabetes was mainly due to the unobserved risk factors present within a district that were not related to the nearby districts, while for hypertension, the structured spatial variation was due to the unobserved factors that were related to the nearby districts.
Conclusion: Diabetes and hypertension control measures should consider both local and non-local factors that contribute to the spatial heterogeneity. More importance should be given to efforts aimed at evaluating district-specific factors in the prevalence of diabetes within a region.