Submitted to: American Journal of Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: This study looked at how people in the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) view their health and nutrition related problems. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data were used. The BRFSS is a telephone survey administered by state departments of health, that asks Adults questions about their health status. Responses from Adults in the LMD of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi were analyzed. Women (both African Americans and others) with less education, ages 35 to 64 years, reported the highest prevalence of health problems. Hypertension was more prevalent in the 36 Delta NIRI counties than in the rest of the 3 states and the United States. These results indicate the need to determine what other factors contribute to the high prevalence rates of nutrition related disease and risk factors in the LMD. Interventions designed to improve the health of this high risk population are needed, especially for African American women at low educational levels.
Technical Abstract: Objectives. The purpose of this study was to assess demographic and geographic differences in prevalence of self-reported nutrition-related health problems in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Methods. The authors analyzed 1991 and 1993 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for adults 18 years and older. Results. Less educated African American women and women of other minority groups who were aged 35 to 64 years reported the highest prevalence of health problems. Geographic differences involved prevalence of hypertension, health status, and insurance status. Conclusions. Specific demographic subgroups and geographic areas with a high risk of health problems are in particular need of targeted interventions.