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Revista Cubana de Higiene y Epidemiología

On-line version ISSN 1561-3003


DIAZ-PERERA FERNANDEZ, Georgia; BACALLAO GALLESTEY, Jorge  and  ALEMANY PEREZ, Eduardo. Context, perception of the economic situation and blood pressure figures. Rev Cubana Hig Epidemiol [online]. 2014, vol.52, n.1, pp.15-28. ISSN 1561-3003.

Introduction: all human activities occur in a context. Attributes, characteristics and indicators are conditioned by their context. Perception of the economic situation is one of the social epidemiology variables used in research about the self-efficacy and expectations of health outcomes. Hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease. Objectives: estimate the influence of perception of the economic situation by polyclinics upon blood pressure figures. Methods: a descriptive study was conducted based on probabilistic sampling of the families in 12 family doctor's and nurse's consultation offices from seven polyclinics in Havana. The variables analyzed were age and individual assessment of the perception of the economic situation. The following assessment scale was used: 1. Excellent, 2. Good, 3. Fair, 4. Bad and 5. Very Bad. During the physical and anthropometric examination of the adults surveyed, the following measurements were taken: weight, height, body mass index, waist circumference and blood pressure. Results: a higher number of hypertensives was found in families that perceive their economic situation as bad or very bad. There is a clear relationship between perception of the economic situation and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Standardized blood pressure values rise as perception of the economic situation worsens. However, as viewed by polyclinics, systolic and diastolic blood pressure trajectories are not parallel. Conclusions: the pattern of association between certain individual factors and blood pressure figures varies between polyclinics. A modulation effect is exerted by the context upon the impact of individual factors. Perception of the economic situation should be included as a correlate of health conditions in future epidemiological studies.

Keywords : context; perception of the economic situation; blood pressure; arterial hypertension.

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