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Recent Submissions

Dimensions of internal migration and their relationship to blood pressure in South Africa
(2019-11) Chantel F. Pheiffer; Stephen T. McGarvey; Carren Ginsburg; Mark Collinson; F. Xavier Gómez-Olivé; Stephen Tollman; Michael J. White
Hypertension prevalence is on the rise in low and middle income countries like South Africa, and migration and concomitant urbanization are often considered to be associated with this rise. However, relatively little is known about the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and internal migration - a highly prevalent population process in LMICs. This study employs data for a group of 194 adult men and women from an original pilot dataset drawn from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System in northeast South Africa. Migrants in the sample are identified, tracked, and interviewed. The relationship between BP and migration distance and the number of months an individual spends away from his/her home village is estimated using robust OLS regression, controlling for a series of socioeconomic, health, and behavioral characteristics. This study finds migrants who move further distances and for longer durations to have significantly higher systolic and diastolic BP compared with shorter-term migrants and those who remain nearby or in their home village. These associations remain robust and statistically significant when adjusting for measures of socioeconomic conditions, as well as body mass index (BMI), and the number of meals consumed per day. Migration, both in terms of distance and time away, explains significant variation in BP among migrants in a typical South African context. This finding suggests the need for further studies of nutritional and psychosocial factors associated with geographic mobility that may be important factors for understanding rising hypertension in LMICs.
Impact of diabetes on longevity and disability-free life expectancy among older South African adults: a prospective longitudinal analysis
(2023-03) Collin F. Payne, PhD; Lilipramawanty K. Liwin, MA; Alisha N. Wade, PhD; Brian Houle, PhD; Jacques D. Du Toit, MD; David Flood, MD; Jennifer Manne-Goehler, PhD
Aims—We seek to understand the coexisting effects of population aging and a rising burden of diabetes on healthy longevity in South Africa. Methods—We used longitudinal data from the 2015 and 2018 waves of the “Health and Aging in Africa: A Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa” (HAALSI) study to explore life expectancy (LE) and disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) of adults aged 45 and older with and without diabetes in rural South Africa. We estimated LE and DFLE by diabetes status using Markov-based microsimulation. Results—We find a clear gradient in remaining LE and DFLE based on diabetes status. At age 45, a man without diabetes could expect to live 7.4 [95% CI 3.4 – 11.7] more years than a man with diabetes, and a woman without diabetes could expect to live 3.9 [95% CI: 0.8 – 6.9] more years than a woman with diabetes. Individuals with diabetes lived proportionately more years subject to disability than individuals without diabetes. Conclusions—We find large and important decrements in disability-free aging for people with diabetes in South Africa. This finding should motivate efforts to strengthen prevention and treatment efforts for diabetes and its complications for older adults in this setting.
Adolescent sleep health in Africa: a scoping review protocol
(2023-08-17) Oluwatosin Eunice Olorunmoteni; F Xavier Gómez-Olivé; Biliamin O Popoola; Adesegun Olayiwola Fatusi; Karine Scheuermaier
Introduction Problematic sleep is a major threat to health and quality of life among adolescents. Hence, to provide directions for research and interventions, there is a need to examine the literature on adolescent sleep health in Africa. However, available studies on adolescent sleep health in Africa have not been properly mapped. Thus, this scoping review aims to investigate the extent and type of available evidence concerning sleep health among adolescents in Africa and to highlight the relationship of adolescent sleep health with adverse mental health outcomes and cardiometabolic risk factors. The review will further highlight areas of agreement and controversies on adolescent sleep health, and identify evidence gaps that require research attention across the continent. Methods and analysis This scoping review will be conducted using Arksey and O’Malley’s six-step procedure. Thus, we have prepared this protocol according to the framework for scoping reviews developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute. To identify eligible studies, we will search MEDLINE, Scopus, PsycINFO, AJOL, JSTOR, HINARI and Google Scholar. The review will include all published articles in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian languages on adolescent sleep health in Africa from the inception of the databases, while relevant information will be extracted from included studies using an adapted data extraction tool. The results will be presented using tables and charts as appropriate. Ethics and dissemination The scoping review does not require ethical approval because the publications to be used for the review are publicly available and the study does not involve contact with humans or other animals as research participants. Furthermore, clinical records will not be used for the study. Upon completion, findings from the study will be disseminated through presentations at scientific meetings and publication in a relevant peer reviewed journal.
Diagnostic testing for hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolaemia in low-income and middle-income countries: a cross-sectional study of data for 994 185 individuals from 57 nationally representative surveys
(2023-09) Sophie Ochmann*; Isabelle von Polenz*; Maja-Emilia Marcus; Michaela Theilmann; David Flood; Kokou Agoudavi; Krishna Kumar Aryal; Silver Bahendeka; Brice Bicaba; Pascal Bovet; Luisa Campos Caldeira Brant; Deborah Carvalho Malta; Albertino Damasceno; Farshad Farzadfar; Gladwell Gathecha; Ali Ghanbari; Mongal Gurung; David Guwatudde; Corine Houehanou; Dismand Houinato; Nahla Hwalla; Jutta Adelin Jorgensen; Khem B Karki; Nuno Lunet; Joao Martins; Mary Mayige; Sahar Saeedi Moghaddam; Omar Mwalim; Kibachio Joseph Mwangi; Bolormaa Norov; Sarah Quesnel-Crooks; Negar Rezaei; Abla M Sibai; Lela Sturua; Lindiwe Tsabedze; Roy Wong-McClure; Justine Davies; Pascal Geldsetzer; Till Bärnighausen; Rifat Atun†; Jennifer Manne-Goehler†; Sebastian Vollmer†
Background—Testing for the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, which include hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolaemia, is important for timely and effective risk management. Yet few studies have quantified and analysed testing of cardiovascular risk factors in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) with respect to sociodemographic inequalities. We aimed to address this knowledge gap. Methods—In this cross-sectional analysis, we pooled individual-level data for non-pregnant adults aged 18 years or older from nationally representative surveys done between Jan 1, 2010, and Dec 31, 2019 in LMICs that included a question about whether respondents had ever had their blood pressure, glucose, or cholesterol measured. We analysed diagnostic testing performance by quantifying the overall proportion of people who had ever been tested for these cardiovascular risk factors and the proportion of individuals who met the diagnostic testing criteria in the WHO package of essential noncommunicable disease interventions for primary care (PEN) guidelines (ie, a BMI >30 kg/m2 or a BMI >25 kg/m2 among people aged 40 years or older). We disaggregated and compared diagnostic testing performance by sex, wealth quintile, and education using two-sided t tests and multivariable logistic regression models. Findings—Our sample included data for 994 185 people from 57 surveys. 19·1% (95% CI 18·5– 19·8) of the 943 259 people in the hypertension sample met the WHO PEN criteria for diagnostic testing, of whom 78·6% (77·8–79·2) were tested. 23·8% (23·4–24·3) of the 225 707 people in the diabetes sample met the WHO PEN criteria for diagnostic testing, of whom 44·9% (43·7– 46·2) were tested. Finally, 27·4% (26·3–28·6) of the 250 573 people in the hypercholesterolaemia sample met the WHO PEN criteria for diagnostic testing, of whom 39·7% (37·1–2·4) were tested. Women were more likely than men to be tested for hypertension and diabetes, and people in higher wealth quintiles compared with those in the lowest wealth quintile were more likely to be tested for all three risk factors, as were people with at least secondary education compared with those with less than primary education. Interpretation—Our study shows opportunities for health systems in LMICs to improve the targeting of diagnostic testing for cardiovascular risk factors and adherence to diagnostic testing guidelines. Risk-factor-based testing recommendations rather than sociodemographic characteristics should determine which individuals are tested.
Diminishing benefits of urban living for children and adolescents’ growth and development
(2023-03-29) NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC)*
Optimal growth and development in childhood and adolescence is crucial for lifelong health and well-being1–6. Here we used data from 2,325 population-based studies, with measurements of height and weight from 71 million participants, to report the height and body-mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents aged 5–19 years on the basis of rural and urban place of residence in 200 countries and territories from 1990 to 2020. In 1990, children and adolescents residing in cities were taller than their rural counterparts in all but a few high-income countries. By 2020, the urban height advantage became smaller in most countries, and in many high-income western countries it reversed into a small urban-based disadvantage. The exception was for boys in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in some countries in Oceania, south Asia and the region of central Asia, Middle East and north Africa. In these countries, successive cohorts of boys from rural places either did not gain height or possibly became shorter, and hence fell further behind their urban peers. The difference between the age-standardized mean BMI of children in urban and rural areas was <1.1 kg m–2 in the vast majority of countries. Within this small range, BMI increased slightly more in cities than in rural areas, except in south Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and some countries in central and eastern Europe. Our results show that in much of the world, the growth and developmental advantages of living in cities have diminished in the twenty-first century, whereas in much of sub-Saharan Africa they have amplified.