Understanding Social Determinants of Cardiometabolic Disease Risk in Rural Women


Women living in rural America experience significant disparities in cardiometabolic diseases warranting research to aid in understanding the contextual factors that underlie the rural and urban disparity and in planning effective primary prevention interventions. While research has established a general understanding of cardiometabolic risks individually, the combination or bundling of these risk behaviors is not clearly understood. The purpose of this study is to explore the association of social determinants of health on obesity and adiposity related cardiometabolic disease risk among rural women. Data were from the multi-state Rural Families Speak about Health Study. A total of 399 women were included in the analyses. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire on women’s demographics, economic stability, education, and health and healthcare. Food insecurity, education, healthcare access and comprehension health literacy were associated with higher obesity and adiposity-related cardiometabolic risk. Health behaviors, tobacco use and physical activity were not associated with higher cardiometabolic risk in this sample of rural women. This is one of the first studies to focus on multiple social determinants of health and cardiometabolic risk in rural American women. Understanding combinations of risk behaviors can assist health care providers and community health professionals in tailoring multiple health behavior change interventions to prevent cardiometabolic disease among rural women. The findings support a focus on community and societal level factors may be more beneficial for improving the cardiometabolic health of rural women.

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Correspondence to Jewel Scott.

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Scott, J., Dardas, L., Sloane, R. et al. Understanding Social Determinants of Cardiometabolic Disease Risk in Rural Women. J Community Health 45, 1–9 (2020).

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  • Cardiometabolic health
  • Obesity
  • Rural health
  • Social determinants