Current health status and its risk factors of the Tsarang villagers living at high altitude in the Mustang district of Nepal

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BACKGROUND: Epidemiology of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity and diabetes mellitus (DM) are influenced by multiple hosts and environmental factors. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of NCDs and determine their risk factors among the adults residing in an isolated village situated at a rural highland of Nepal. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a village located at 3570 m. Each 188 randomly selected participants of age???18 years old answered a questionnaire and took a full physical exam that included biomedical measurements of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). RESULTS: The prevalence of intermediate hyperglycemia and DM was 31.6% and 4.6% respectively, and the prevalence of hypoxemia (SpO2 <?90%) was 27.1%. A multiple logistic regression analysis for factors for the prevalence of glucose intolerance (HbA1c ??6%) revealed older age (odds ratio [OR] 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06-1.16, for every 1 year increase) and SpO2 (OR for hypoxemia 3.58, 95% CI 1.20-10.68, vs SpO2 ??90%). CONCLUSIONS: Tibetan highlanders in the remote mountainous Mustang valley of Nepal have high prevalence of impaired glucose metabolism which could be related to hypoxemia imposed by the hypoxic conditions of high altitude living.

Journal of physiological anthropology, 37(1), 20; 2018


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