Educational Inequalities and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Study in Southern Spain

Authors

  • José Miguel Morales-Asencio R.N., B.Sc., Ph.D.,

    Corresponding author
    • Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain
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  • José Mancera-Romero M.D., Ph.D.,

    1. Ciudad Jardin Primary Health Care Centre, Malaga, Spain
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  • Rosa Bernal-Lopez M.D., Ph.D.,

    1. Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CB06/003) Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Biomedical Research Laboratory, Endocrinology Department, Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain
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  • Ildefonso Martos-Cerezuela M.D.,

    1. Ciudad Jardin Primary Health Care Centre, Malaga, Spain
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  • Antonio J. Baca-Osorio M.D.,

    1. Ciudad Jardin Primary Health Care Centre, Malaga, Spain
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  • Maria Teresa Moyano-Paris R.N.,

    1. Internal Medicine Department, Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya, Malaga, Spain
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  • Juana Montiel-Murillo R.N.,

    1. Internal Medicine Department, Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya, Malaga, Spain
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  • Flores Perez Juncosa R.N.,

    1. Ciudad Jardin Primary Health Care Centre, Malaga, Spain
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  • Rosa Sanchez Perez M.D, Ph.D.,

    1. Ciudad Jardin Primary Health Care Centre, Malaga, Spain
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  • Francisco J. Tinahones M.D., Ph.D.,

    1. Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CB06/003) Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Biomedical Research Laboratory, Endocrinology Department, Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain
    2. Endocrinology Department, Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain
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  • Ricardo Gomez-Huelgas M.D., Ph.D.

    1. Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CB06/003) Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Biomedical Research Laboratory, Endocrinology Department, Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain
    2. Internal Medicine Department, Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya, Malaga, Spain
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Correspondence to:

José Miguel Morales Asencio, Director of the Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malaga, Paseo de Martiricos s/n, Málaga 29009, Spain. E-mail: jmmasen@uma.es

Abstract

Objectives

To determine the prevalence and distribution of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors focused on educational level differences, in an adult population in Southern Spain.

Design and Sample

Cross-sectional population-based study. Random sample from the adult population assigned to a Primary Health Care Centre in Málaga (Southern Spain), which attends 38,625 inhabitants.

Measures

Level of education, physical activity, blood pressure, waist perimeter, body mass index, lipid profile, fasting plasma glucose, among others, were assessed.

Results

Final sample included 2,270 subjects with a mean age of 43.65 (SD: 16.65), 49.74% male and 50.26% female. 57.6% had none or only primary studies. Overweight was present in 55.8%, smokers were 27.6% and sedentary people 51.9%. Once adjusted by sex and age, all modifiable factors were lower in people with higher education. The highest risks were sedentarism (OR 1.95; 95% CI: 1.16–3.29) and hypertension (OR: 2.07 95% CI: 1.49–2.80) for those with lower education.

Conclusions

There is a clear inverse gradient of cardiovascular risk factors and educational level in the study population. Public health and community nurses should develop strong interventions for this challenge and extend their influence to public policies focused on educational inequalities and health.

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