Association of exclusive smokeless tobacco consumption with hypertension in an adult male rural population of India
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Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
Submission date: 2009-08-10
Acceptance date: 2009-11-24
Publication date: 2009-10-24
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2009;5(November):15
Tobacco consumption is a major source of mortality and morbidity in India. Prevalence of smokeless tobacco (ST) consumption in India is around 20%. Studies have shown increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors and an increased incidence of adverse cardiovascular events among the ST consumers. This is a cross-sectional study done to look into the association of exclusive smokeless tobacco consumption with hypertension, in an adult male rural population of north India.

All male residents of a village in north India above 15 years of age, who did not have any acute or chronic morbidity were included after taking an informed consent. Subjects were interviewed regarding their demographic profile, socioeconomic status and tobacco consuming habits. Current smokeless tobacco user was defined as one who has ever consumed tobacco orally in past 1 month. Blood pressure of the subjects was also recorded. Cut offs used for systolic and diastolic hypertension were 140 mm hg and 90 mm Hg respectively.

443 subjects were included in the study. Prevalence of exclusive ST users was 21% while 19.4% consumed both forms and 26.6% did not take any form of tobacco. Mean systolic and diastolic BP were significantly higher in exclusive ST users(systolic BP=139.2+17.4,diastolic BP = 86.8+11.5)as compared to the non users(systolic BP= 135.7+18.8 , diastolic BP= 82.6 +11.5; p value < 0.05). The prevalence of diastolic hypertension was significantly higher in exclusive ST users as compared to non users ( 40.9%, 22.9% ;p value = 0.01) . The OR for diastolic hypertension in male ST users was 2.3( 95% C.I. = 1.3-4.3). Prevalence of systolic hypertension was higher in exclusive ST users too though this was not statistically significant (43%,36.4%;p value = 0.39.).

ST consumption is associated with increased prevalence of high BP in the adult male rural population.This is an indicator of increased predisposition to major adverse cardiac events later in their life time. Prevention of ST consumption could be an important intervention in preventing the ongoing upswing in prevalence of chronic heart disease.

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