Objectives This study aims to describe the prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCD) risk factors among the urban poor in Bangladesh. Design We conducted a community-based cross-sectional epidemiological study. Setting The study was conducted in a shantytown in the city of Dhaka. There were 8604 households with 34 170 residents in the community. Those households were categorised into two wealth strata based on the housing structure. Participants The study targeted residents aged 18-64 years. A total of 2986 eligible households with one eligible individual were selected by simple random sampling stratified by household wealth status. A total of 2551 residents completed the questionnaire survey, and 2009 participated in the subsequent physical and biochemical measurements. Outcome measures A modified WHO survey instrument was used for assessing behavioural risk factors and physical and biochemical measurements, including glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). The prevalence of NCD risk factors, such as tobacco use, fruit and vegetable intake, overweight/obesity, hypertension, diabetes (HbA1c ≥6.5%) and dyslipidaemia, was described according to household wealth status and gender differences. Results The prevalence of current tobacco use was 60.4% in men and 23.5% in women. Most of them (90.8%) consumed more than 1 serving of fruits and vegetables per day; however, only 2.1% consumed more than 5 servings. Overweight/obesity was more common in women (39.2%) than in men (18.9%), while underweight was more common in men (21.0%) than in women (7.1%). The prevalence of hypertension was 18.6% in men and 20.7% in women. The prevalence of diabetes was 15.6% in men and 22.5% in women, which was much higher than the estimated national prevalence (7%). The prevalence of raised total cholesterol (≥190 mg/dL) was 25.7% in men and 34.0% in women. Conclusion The study identified that tobacco use, both overweight and underweight, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia were prevalent among the urban poor in Bangladesh.
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