249879 Assessing Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome among Rural Older Adults

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Latrice Vinson, BA , Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Chao-Hui Huang, M Ed , Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Martha Crowther, PhD, MPH , Department of Psychology, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Objective: The elderly population is increasing in rural communities yet many rural elders have fewer resources and poorer mental and physical health than their urban counterparts. Rural elders are at a higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome (MSX), a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and mortality, which has been linked, to depression and cognitive impairment. This study assessed risk factors for MSX (elevated BMI, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol) among rural elders. Method: An interdisciplinary healthcare team provided weekly behavioral and physical health screens to rural adults in four Alabama counties on a mobile unit. Results: A predominately African American sample of 384 adults aged 55 and older received health screens on the mobile unit. Results showed that 88% of rural adults had pre-hypertension or hypertension. Approximately 60% of the adults with complete data to assess MSX actually had the syndrome. MSX variables accounted for 65% of the variance in age, and systolic blood pressure and cholesterol significantly predicted age (R2 = .653, F(4, 15) = 7.07, p < .01). Men aged 55-64 were more likely to be overweight and obese than other study participants (X2(4, n = 150) = 18.43, p = .001). Also, overweight women were more likely to have a higher systolic blood pressure than men (F(2, 244) = 7.40, p = .001). Conclusions: Rural elders are at increased risk of developing MSX. Using innovative methods such as mobile healthcare delivery is crucial to providing quality healthcare and health education to an underserved population.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of examining metabolic syndrome in rural elders. 2. Describe the development and implementation of integrated care in a rural setting for an underserved population. 3. Discuss the importance of including culturally relevant approaches to the provision of rural behavioral and physical health care.

Keywords: Aging, Rural Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a third-year doctoral student at The University of Alabama, I helped collect the data for this project. I also conducted the literature review and data analysis for the current presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.