Examining the relationship between nature of work and at risk of hypertension: evidence from the WHO Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health

Authors: Irenius Konkor*, , Vincent Kuuire, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Kathi Wilson, University of Toronto, Mississauga
Topics: Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: Chronic disease, Hypertension, Nature of work, Physical activity, Health, Ghana
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 13
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The employment landscape has changed significantly over the past few years in emerging developing economies including Ghana where many people are rapidly transitioning from livelihood activities that involve physical exertion to work environments where performance of duties are mostly non-physical. Working under non-active conditions could, however, exacerbate the risk of developing chronic diseases that are increasingly becoming prevalent in developing countries. Drawing on a nationally representative sample data of 4,425 adult Ghanaian workers collected by the WHO Study on Global Aging and Adult Health in developing countries, this study examines the relationship between nature of work (whether physical or non-physical) and hypertensive status. We used the complementary log-log link function to build nested models with results presented in odds ratios. After controlling for several variables, the results show that undertaking non-physically related work is significantly associated with a higher likelihood (OR=1.17, P<0.05) of being hypertensive compared with those whose work involved physical activity. Other factors that are significantly associated with being hypertensive include tobacco use, use of salt at the dining table, living in an urban area and being an older person. Policies on reducing the risk of developing chronic conditions especially hypertension need to recognise the contributions of the work environment in emerging developing economies.

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