Relationship between psychological distress and metabolic syndrome in the farming community – Sustainable Farm Families study
Ananda Chandrasekara, Susan Brumby, Scott McCoombe, National Centre for Farmer Health
Background: Psychological distress can cause detrimental changes to both physical and mental health parameters and is predicted to increase an individual’s risk of metabolic syndrome. Rural Australia has a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome co-morbidities such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To date, the association of psychological distress and metabolic syndrome co-morbidities in the Australian farming community has not been thoroughly investigated.
Objective: This study aimed to identify the effect that metabolic syndrome co-morbidities have on the prevalence of psychological distress in the Australian farming community.
Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted using the anthropometric, biochemical, clinical health measurements and survey data collected from Sustainable Farm Families programs conducted throughout Australia between 2004 and 2008.
Participants: 1813 consenting adult farm men (n=968) and farm women (n=845) participated in this study. Participants were recruited from 97 locations across Australia for this study.
Methodology: Individual measurement data were stratified into categories using cut-off values based on NCEP guidelines. Prevalence of clinical conditions was age and gender standardized to the Australian general population.
Results: The prevalence of overweight (42.5% [95%CI, 34.2-50.8]), obesity (21.8% [18.3-25.3]), abdominal adiposity (38.5% [24.5-52.5]) hypertension risk (54.0% [34.4-73.5]), diabetes risk (27.2% [17.7-36.7]) and psychological distress (46.2% [28.6-63.9]) in the study group were significantly higher (p Conclusion: Psychological distress significantly contributes to the incidence of metabolic syndrome co-morbidities in the older farming population of Australia.
Reference: 1. Janus, E.D., T. Laatikainen, J.A. Dunbar, A. Kilkkinen, S.J. Bunker, B. Philpot, P.A. Tideman, R. Tirimacco, and S. Heistaro, Overweight, obesity and metabolic syndrome in rural southeastern Australia. Med J Aust, 2007. 187(3): p. 147-52.