Regional Differences Among Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Post-Communist Albania

Authors

  • Fatima Dema Human Biology, Health & Disease Brown University, Rhode Island, US
  • Bruce Becker Professor of Emergency Medicine Alpert Brown Medical School, Rhode Island, US
  • Josef Prence Vice Director of Ihsan Cabej Hospital Lushnje, Albania

Abstract

This study examines the association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and five modifiable risk factors (physical activity,
smoking, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes) associated with CVDs in two cities in post-communist Albania, a transitional
country located in southeastern Europe. The study also hypothesizes an association between the lifestyle changes instigated by the
political transition and the prevalence of these risk factors and CVD. The study cohort was comprised of 200 adults over the age of 38,
with 100 participants for each city. Questionnaires, measuring quantitative variables for the five risk factors, along with anthropometric
measurements were used for data collection. Findings revealed that participants from the southern city of Gjirokaster measured their
blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels more often and more regularly than northern participants from the city of
Peshkopi. Additionally, southerners also displayed a greater certainty in family history of these risk factors and a lower prevalence of
family history. A possible explanation for these results could be that a disparity in healthcare access may exist between the two regional
cities. Data for the other risk factors, physical activity and smoking, showed similar trends reflected in previous studies, that participants
in both cities exhibited a decrease in physical activity with time consumed 2-3 packs of tobacco daily. Based on these results, the study
recommends the design and implementation of educational classes in these communities focused on cardiovascular disease and its
associated risk factors in order to raise awareness and promote prevention of CVDs. Additionally, research efforts should be focused on
verifying the hypothesis of unequal healthcare access regionally.

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Published

2012-04-01

How to Cite

Dema, F. ., Becker, B. ., & Prence, J. . (2012). Regional Differences Among Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Post-Communist Albania. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 2(6), 195. Retrieved from https://www.richtmann.org/journal/index.php/jesr/article/view/12056

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