Non-Communicable Disease Mortality and Risk Factors in Formal and Informal Neighborhoods, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: Evidence from a Health and Demographic Surveillance System

Rossier, Clementine; Soura, Abdramane Bassiahi; Duthe, Geraldine; Findley, Sally E.

The expected growth in NCDs in cities is one of the most important health challenges of the coming decades in Sub-Saharan countries. This paper aims to fill the gap in our understanding of socio-economic differentials in NCD mortality and risk in low and middle income neighborhoods in urban Africa. We use data collected in the Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance System. 409 deaths were recorded between 2009–2011 among 20,836 individuals aged 35 years and older; verbal autopsies and the InterVA program were used to determine the probable cause of death. A random survey asked in 2011 1,039 adults aged 35 and over about tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and measured their weight, height, and blood pressure. These data reveal a high level of premature mortality due to NCDs in all neighborhoods: NCD mortality increases substantially by age 50. NCD mortality is greater in formal neighborhoods, while adult communicable disease mortality remains high, especially in informal neighborhoods. There is a high prevalence of risk factors for NCDs in the studied neighborhoods, with over one-fourth of the adults being overweight and over one-fourth having hypertension. Better-off residents are more prone to physical inactivity and excessive weight, while vulnerable populations such as widows/divorced individuals and migrants suffer more from higher blood pressure. Females have a significantly lower risk of being smokers or heavy drinkers, while they are more likely to be physically inactive or overweight, especially when married. Muslim individuals are less likely to be smokers or heavy drinkers, but have a higher blood pressure. Everything else being constant, individuals living in formal neighborhoods are more often overweight. The data presented make clear the pressing need to develop effective programs to reduce NCD risk across all types of neighborhoods in African cities, and suggest several entry points for community-based prevention programs.

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Population and Family Health
Public Library of Science
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July 30, 2016