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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 153-154

Cardiovascular disease risk factors among army veterans and their dependent living in tribal areas of Jharkhand, India


1 Asst Prof, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 DADH, HQ 28 Inf Div, C/O 56 APO,
3 Prof and HOD, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
4 Col Health and Sr Adv (PSM), HQ Northern Command, C/O 56 APO, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
5 Fellow Paediatric Anaesthesia, IGICH, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
6 PG Resident, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication13-Feb-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ravishekar N Hiremath
DADH, HQ 28 Inf Div, C/O 56 APO, Pin - 908 428

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_53_17

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How to cite this article:
Yadav AK, Hiremath RN, Kunte R, Suryam V, Ghodke S, Sindhu A. Cardiovascular disease risk factors among army veterans and their dependent living in tribal areas of Jharkhand, India. J Mar Med Soc 2017;19:153-4

How to cite this URL:
Yadav AK, Hiremath RN, Kunte R, Suryam V, Ghodke S, Sindhu A. Cardiovascular disease risk factors among army veterans and their dependent living in tribal areas of Jharkhand, India. J Mar Med Soc [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Oct 19];19:153-4. Available from: http://www.marinemedicalsociety.in/text.asp?2017/19/2/153/225280



Sir,

According to Press Information Bureau, Government of India, there are approximately 2.5 million veterans in India till December 31, 2015.[1] These veterans are highly trained, and they play an important role in building the nation, especially during disaster.[2] While in active services, the detailed medical record of Armed Forces personnel is maintained and also military service has an influence on health behavior. However, after retirement due to changes in lifestyle and age, there is likelihood of increase in cardiovascular risk factors among veterans. As of now, there is very little information about the health condition of these veterans, especially in less accessible areas. Hence, we conducted a cross-sectional study to find out the cardiovascular health profile of veterans in tribal areas of Jharkhand and their association if any by organizing a medical camp. The medical camp was planned in coordination with Zila Sainik Board and local municipal establishments, and timings and dates were fixed taking into consideration ease and availability of veterans so as to ensure maximum participation.

A total of 196 (103 veterans and 93 veteran's spouses) participated in the study. The mean age of study participants was 54.2 years (standard deviation = 5.4). Majority (52.7%) were from rural areas and were educated till primary and secondary school (39.3%). About 54.6% were receiving pension between Rs. 5,000 to Rs.10,000 and 82.5% were unemployed. A total of 42 (21.4%) and 63 (32.1%) were ever (current and past) tobacco and alcohol user. Out of which, 15 (7.6%) and 25 (12.7%) were current tobacco user and alcohol user, respectively. Among both current and past user, 6 (3.1%) used bidi/cigarette and 36 (18.4%) used gutka or khaini (smokeless tobacco). The proportion of people using tobacco in any form was more among veterans (29.1%) than veteran's spouses (12.9%). Among alcohol users, the majority had rum as their preference (43, 21.9%).

A total of 17 (8.7%) were obese while 56 (28.6%) were overweight. A total of 25 (12.8%) and 21 (10.7%) were diagnosed as hypertension and diabetes, respectively. Only 6 (24%) hypertension and 7 (33.3%) diabetes cases were newly detected. Hypertension was significantly more in veterans than dependents, while there was no difference between veterans and their dependents with regard to diabetes. Hypertension showed a significant statistical test for trend among categories of body mass index (BMI) (P = 0.04) as shown in [Figure 1]. A similar trend [Figure 2] was seen with diabetes and prediabetes among BMI, and those with overweight and obesity have higher chances of being prediabetes and diabetes (P = 0.002).
Figure 1: Hypertension and body mass index

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Figure 2: Prediabetes and diabetes in body mass index

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Only 6.6% were doing regular exercise. A total of 108 (55.1%) have at least one of the risk factors present in them. Only 12 (6.1%) have three risk factors, out of which 11 were veterans.

A national household survey showed the prevalence of tobacco consumption among 15 years and older as 30%.[3] The observance of presence of smokeless tobacco more than smoking tobacco is in consonance with a study conducted by Puthia et al.[4] We observed that the prevalence of hypertension or diabetes mellitus and behavioral risk factor is less than as compared to reported civilian population. This may be due to lifelong training (physical fitness maintained during the service and regular medical checkups) and educational activities about risk factors, which are continuously taken care by the medical establishment besides providing the comprehensive medical care.

One of the important findings of this study is the association of hypertension and diabetes with overweight and obesity, and hence, the veterans and their family can be encouraged to maintain BMI <25. Harnagle et al. conducted an intervention study and showed that empowerment and strengthening of ex-servicemen at the fag end of their carrier can further help in the improvement of their health.[5]

Our study found the presence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors among veterans and thus need for continuing healthcare even after retirement for veterans and their families.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Welfare of Ex-Servicemen. Available from: http://www.pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=137786. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 15].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Rajagopal G, Singh KK, Anand AC, Rai KM, Jayaram J. Ex-servicemen medical aid group (ESMAG): The hidden force. Med J Armed Forces India 2008;64:61-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Report on Tobacco Control in India. Available from: http://www.who.int/fctc/reporting/Annex6_Report_on_Tobacco_Control_in_India_2004.pdf. [Last accessed on 2017 Nov 15].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Puthia A, Yadav AK, Kotwal A. Tobacco use among serving army personnel: An epidemiological study. Med J Armed Forces India 2017;73:134-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Harnagle R, Bhalwar R, Bhaskar SV. Modalities of empowerment and strengthening of ex-servicemen. Med J Armed Forces India 2010;66:138-41.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    


    Figures

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