The influence of socio-environmental determinants on hypertension. A spatial analysis in Athens metropolitan area, Greece.


socio-environmental factors
Geographic Information Systems.


Introduction: While epidemiological and pathophysiological aspects of hypertension are still being investigated, there is an increased global interest between hypertension and social health determinants and environmental factors that this study aims to examine.

Methods: The sample size used in this work included 2,445 individuals, from Athens metropolitan area, who were randomly enrolled in ATTICA study, during 2001 to 2002. Principal component analysis (PCA), Poisson regression modeling and geographical analysis, based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, were applied. 

Results: Geographical analysis and thematic mapping revealed that the West municipalities of Athens had the lowest socio-environmental status. Three components were derived from PCA: high, low and mixed socio-environmental status. Poisson regression analysis showed that high socio-environmental status, educational and economic level were negatively correlated with hypertension in some sectors of Athens (p<0.05, for all).

Conclusions: Through the use of geospatial surveillance the underlying epidemiology of hypertension, and those at greater risk, can be more precisely determined. This study underlines the need to account for environmental factors when developing public health policies and programs for effective hypertension prevention or reduction.


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