Skinfolds, Behavioural and Socio-economic Risk Factors in Hypertension among the Hill and Valley Tangkhuls of Manipur

Hypertension is a medical term used when blood pressure is higher than the normal level. It is a major cause of mortality in underdeveloped, developing, and developed countries causing a significant public health problem. This study investigates hypertension-associated risk factors among the Tangkhuls in Manipur. The cross-sectional study was conducted among randomly selected 590 Tangkhul males (350 of hill and 240 of valley). The ages of the participants ranged from 20-80 years. A pre-tested schedule was used, which consisted of height, weight, 6 (six) skinfold measurements, blood pressure, behavioural and socio-economic parameters. Anthropometric and blood pressure were measured following standardized procedures. BMI (Body Mass Index) in kg/m2 was computed, and fat mass was derived from six skinfold measurements. Statistical methods viz., t-test, Chi-square test, and multivariate logistic regression were applied. Results indicated that the valley population had higher mean values (P<0.05) in weight, skinfold measurements, indices, and blood pressure and a higher prevalence of hypertension (P<0.05) compared with the hill. Among the skinfolds, abdominal skinfolds showed the highest mean values. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that hypertension was independently associated in both hill and valley Tangkhuls with age ≥50 (OR =4.34 and 2.12), smoking (OR =4.05 and 6.01), and risk FMI (OR =7.50 and 17.88), respectively. Age ≥50 years, smoking, physical inactivity, and risk FMI were independent risk factors associated with hypertension.