Hypertension and its risk factors among the Shabar tribe: A community-based cross-sectional study in Odisha, India


  • Suman Chakrabarty 1Department of Anthropology, Mrinalini Datta Mahavidyapith, Kolkata, India https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6129-8486
  • Premananda Bharati 2Biological Anthropology Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India




hypertension, BMI, diet, Shabar tribe, India


In developing countries like India, the increasing trend of hypertension is one of the significant public health problems. In recent times, the Indian tribes are also experiencing a similar trend, which is rarely documented and less emphasized.

The objectives of the present study are to assess the prevalence of hypertension among the Shabar tribe and to understand the association with some selected biological, behavioural and socio-economic factors. The data were collected from 816 individuals (389 males and 427 females, aged 20 to 60 years) in the Khurda and Cuttack districts of Odisha. Conventional methodologies were used to collect the cross-sectional data of blood pressure and other parameters.

It was found that 9.2% of the respondents suffered from hypertension (SBP ≥ 140 and DBP ≥ 90 mmHg), and 12.3% had high normal blood pressure (SBP ≥ 130 and DBP ≥ 85 mmHg). The unadjusted odd ratios showed that the proportion of hypertension increased significantly as age increased. High normal blood pressure and hypertension were significantly higher in females and people who belonged to the high-income group and consumed more fat. The Shabar people who suffered from overweight and obesity, took extra salt during meals, smokers, smokeless tobacco chewers, and alcoholics were more vulnerable to hypertension and high blood pressure. Interestingly, the participants who perceived their fatty bodies and engaged in light activities were more likely to be hypertensive than their counterparts.

Shabar people residing in Odisha state have shown increasing frequencies of hypertension with advancing age. A significant co-occurrence of higher body mass index (BMI), fewer physical activities, increased fat consumption, and changing habits relating behaviour to hypertension may be designated as potential risk factors.


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