Impact of Migration on Non-Communicable Disease Risk Factors: Comparison of Gulf Migrants and their Non-Migrant Contemporaries in the District of Origin in Kerala, India
Introduction: We assessed the prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors between gulf migrant workers and non-migrant workers of Malappuram district, Kerala.
Methods: Using a multistage cluster sampling technique, 191 migrants and 193 non-migrant men between 25-65 years of age were selected. Data on NCD risk factors were collected using World Health Organization (WHO) STEPS protocol. Multivariate analysis was used to find the relation between migration and NCD risk factors
Results: Prevalence of current tobacco use was 21.4% among migrants and 16.6% among non-migrants, current alcohol use was 8.9% among migrants and 12.4% among non-migrants, physical inactivity was 26.7% among migrants and 23.8% among non-migrants, poor diet habit was 86.9% among migrants and 76.2% among non-migrants, history of chronic diseases was 37.5% among migrants and 21%among non-migrants, working 7 days /week was 35% among migrants and 1% among non-migrants, working >8hrs/day was 76.9% among migrants and 33.1% among non-migrants, sleeping less than 6hrs /day was 41.3% among migrants and 14% among non-migrants. Prevalence of hypertension was 59.7% among migrants and 29.8% among non-migrants (p=<0.001) (adjusted OR 2.5, 95% CI=1.38-4.46), abdominal obesity was 79.5% among migrants and 44.5% among non-migrants (p=<0.001) (adjusted OR 2.4, 95% CI=1.35-4.31). Among migrant hypertensive 43.5% were aware, 33.9% were on treatment and 12.2% achieved adequate control, the corresponding figures for non-migrants were 56.9%, 53.4%, and 48.3% respectively.
Conclusion: Majority of the risk factors were significantly higher among gulf migrants than non-migrants, which calls for urgent intervention to reduce these risk factors in this population.
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