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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


CREBER, Ruth M. Masterson; SMEETH, Liam; GILMAN, Robert H  and  MIRANDA, J. Jaime. Physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors among rural and urban groups and rural-to-urban migrants in Peru: a cross-sectional study. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To compare physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns of rural-to-urban migrants in Peru versus lifetime rural and urban residents and to determine any associations between low physical activity and four cardiovascular risk factors: obesity (body mass index > 30 kg/m2), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. METHODS: The PERU MIGRANT (PEru's Rural to Urban MIGRANTs) cross-sectional study was designed to measure physical activity among rural, urban, and rural-to-urban migrants with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). RESULTS: The World Health Organization (WHO) age-standardized prevalence of low physical activity was 2.2% in lifetime rural residents, 32.2% in rural-to-urban migrants, and 39.2% in lifetime urban residents. The adjusted odds ratios for low physical activity were 21.43 and 32.98 for migrant and urban groups respectively compared to the rural group. The adjusted odds ratio for being obese was 1.94 for those with low physical activity. There was no evidence of an association between low physical activity and blood pressure levels, hypertension, or metabolic syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: People living in a rural area had much higher levels of physical activity and lower risk of being overweight and obese compared to those living in an urban area of Lima. Study participants from the same rural area who had migrated to Lima had levels of physical inactivity and obesity similar to those who had always lived in Lima. Interventions aimed at maintaining higher levels of physical activity among rural-to-urban migrants may help reduce the epidemic of obesity in urban cities.

Keywords : Cardiovascular diseases; motor activity; risk factors; rural-urban migration; obesity; hypertension; metabolic syndrome X; Peru.

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