Cardiovascular risk factors and psychological distress in Australian farming communities

Brumby, Susan, Chandrasekara, Ananda, McCoombe, Scott, Kremer, Peter and Lewandowski, Paul 2012, Cardiovascular risk factors and psychological distress in Australian farming communities, Australian journal of rural health, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 131-137.

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Title Cardiovascular risk factors and psychological distress in Australian farming communities
Author(s) Brumby, Susan
Chandrasekara, Ananda
McCoombe, Scott
Kremer, Peter
Lewandowski, Paul
Journal name Australian journal of rural health
Volume number 20
Issue number 3
Start page 131
End page 137
Total pages 7
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Richmond, Vic.
Publication date 2012-06
ISSN 1440-1584
1038-5282
Keyword(s) obesity
mental health
farmer
cardiovascular disease
metabolic syndrome
physical activity
lifestyle
disease
population
overweight
farmers
burden
health
Summary Objective:  To examine the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, psychological distress and associations between physical and mental health parameters within a cohort of the Australian farming community.

Design:  Cross-sectional descriptive study.

Setting:  Farming communities across Australia.

Participants:  Data of men (n = 957) and women (n = 835) farmers from 97 locations across Australia were stratified into categories based on National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines.

Main outcome measure(s):  Prevalence of and interrelationship between overweight, obesity, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, diabetes risk and psychological distress.

Results:  There was a higher prevalence of overweight (42.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI), 34.2–50.8), obesity (21.8%, 95% CI, 18.3–25.3), abdominal adiposity (38.4% 95% CI, 24.5–52.5), hypertension (54.0%, 95% CI, 34.4–73.5) and diabetes risk (25.3%, 95% CI, 17.7–36.7) in the farming cohort compared with national data. There was also a positive significant association between the prevalence of psychological distress and obesity, abdominal adiposity, body fat percentage and metabolic syndrome in older (age ≥ 50 years) participants.

Conclusions:  This study group of farming men and women exhibited an increased prevalence of CVD risk factors and co-morbidities. The findings indicate a positive association between psychological distress and risk for developing CVD, particularly in the older farmers. If the younger cohort were to maintain elevated rates of psychological distress, then it is foreseeable that the next generation of farmers could experience poorer physical health than their predecessors.

Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30046004

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
School of Medicine
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