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International Journal of Chronic Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 431818, 6 pages
Research Article

Migration Status and Prevalence of Chronic Diseases in Kerala State, India

Health Action by People, TC 1/1706, Chemmanam, Navarangam Lane, Opp. 3rd Men’s Hostel, Medical College PO, Trivandrum, Kerala 695 011, India

Received 2 September 2013; Revised 8 November 2013; Accepted 14 November 2013

Academic Editor: Jens Klotsche

Copyright © 2013 Safraj Shahul Hameed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To study the relationship between a personal history of migration and prevalence of chronic diseases and risk factors in a rural population. Method. Cross sectional survey data from PROLIFE, a cohort study involving the long time follow-up of the residents of an administrative unit in Kerala, India, was used. Pre-tested questionnaire was administered to 78,173 adult residents. Information on physician diagnosed diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac diseases and lifestyle attributes like physical activity, habits, and migration was captured. Results. Subjects with a history of migration had a higher prevalence of chronic disease when compared with those with no history of migration. Diabetes (19.6% versus 4.1%), hypertension (18.8% versus 6.6%), and cardiac complaints (8.6% versus 4.1%) are more prevalent among those with history of migration of over 5 years. After adjustment for age, gender, and education, we found that chronic diseases are higher among persons with a history of migration (OR 2.2, 95% CI: 2.1–2.3). Age-specific increases in prevalence of chronic diseases are also substantially higher among migrants. Conclusion. People with a history of migration have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases and risk factors.