Submitted to: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/28/2004
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Citation: Bogle, M.L., Strickland, E., Santell, R., Casey, P., Weber, J., Stuff, J., Ryan, D.H., Champagne, C.M., Mellad, K., Mcgee, B., Hyman, E., Zaghloul, S., Yadrick, K., Forsythe, W., Horton, J., Simpson, P. 2004. Self-reported health of residents of the Mississippi Delta. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 15(4):645-662. Interpretive Summary: We studied the occurence of obesity and other diseases among individuals in the Lower Mississippi Delta, a poor and economically disadvantaged area in the Lower South. We found the occurrence of high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension were higher than nationwide levels. Obesity was strikingly higher in Delta children and Delta adults than nationwide. A public health crisis appears to exist in the Lower Mississippi Delta given the high occurence of these health problems.
Technical Abstract: The rural Lower Mississippi Delta of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi has a large economically and socially disadvantaged population at high risk for health problems. Their health status is poorly understood as they are not well represented in national health surveys. A random-digit-dialing telephone survey was conducted in 2000, with 2,236 respondents representing residents of 36 counties along the Mississippi River. Self-reported chronic conditions, health status, and obesity (derived from weight and height) were compared with the nationally representative Continuing Survey of Food Intake of Individuals. High cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension were significantly higher than in the national sample. Obesity was strikingly higher in Delta children (27.9% versus 16.2%) of all ages and in Delta adults (33.9% versus 17.3%). Controlling for age, income, and gender, African Americans were at particular risk for obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. A public health crisis appears to exist in the Delta given the high prevalence health problems.