Social capital and hypertension in rural Haitian women.
Hypertension is a major global public health risk and significant precursor to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and maternal mortality. A possible strategy to reduce chronic disease in resource-poor areas is social intervention. Research into the possible relationship of social determinants and disease is needed to determine appropriate social interventions. This study aims to determine the association between social capital and hypertension in rural Haitian women. From June to August 2005, 306 women, ages 18-49, who attended one of Hôpital Albert Schweitzer's five rural dispensaries as patients or accompanying patients, were interviewed. Individual interviews on social capital, demographics and anthropometrics were conducted. SAS statistical package was used to analyze the data. Groups/networks, personal empowerment, collective action/cooperation and trust components significantly decreased the likelihood of hypertension in multivariate analysis. In an additive model, the ranked index of social capital indicated that each social capital component score above the conceptual midpoint showed a 41 % reduction in the likelihood of hypertension. The findings suggest that interventions aimed to increase components of social capital may significantly lower hypertension.
Malino, C; Kershaw, T; Angley, M; Frederic, R; Small, M
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