Biological Determinants of Blood Pressure among Marginalized Elderly Population

Several studies have identified a possible association between blood pressure (BP) and body composition (BCP). However, such studies are mostly among the adult populations. Thus, it would be interesting to examine such association in a marginalised elderly population with high prevalence of chronic energy deficiency. The focal point of the present study is to identify biological factors that can discriminate various BP categories among the elderly people of an indigenous community. A cross sectional sample of 477 elderly Santhal (329 males and 148 females) was selected for the present study, from the Bankura district of West Bengal, India. The ages of these elderly adults ranged from 50 to 87 years. Preliminary statistical analyses like descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance and Pearson’s correlation were calculated. In addition, canonical linear discriminate (CLD) analysis was computed. This analysis is a dimension-reduction technique related to principal component analysis and canonical correlation. In the present study CLD analysis was used to investigate the factors that can contribute considerably in discriminating various BP categorical groups. Despite old age and gender differences, Santhal elders have shown predominance of mesomorphic component in their physique. Discriminate analysis shows that body composition components like skinfolds and endomorphic component contribute maximum in discriminating BP categories. It can be concluded by saying that adiposity and fat accumulation (both visceral and subcutaneous) are crucial determinants of BP during senescence. Hence, these factors are useful in discriminating individual with low BP category from high or hypertensive BP categories even among marginalised elderly populations with low body mass index (BMI).