Search for a better life leads to poorer health

PERUVIANS who quit their farms in search of a better life in the city are not usually heading towards better health. 

Researchers compared the cardiovascular risk of around 200 rural-living Peruvians versus 600 rural-to-urban migrants and 200 life-long city-dwellers.

 The prevalence of obesity among rural, migrant and urban groups was 3%, 20% and 33%, respectively, while for type 2 diabetes it was 0.8%, 3% and 6%. For hypertension it was 11%, 16% and 29%.

The migrants usually had “intermediate levels of [CVD] risk”, and the study also concluded “urbanisation is indeed detrimental to cardiovascular health”.

Heart 2011, online 8 April