Our achievements in non-communicable disease research

We have documented the growing burden of non-communicable disease in Bangladesh and begun to identify effective interventions.

Examples of our achievements include:

Documenting the rise of childhood obesity 

  • We have carried out a scoping review on childhood obesity in Bangladesh, collating data from published and ‘grey’ literature.
  • Data from 21 studies suggest that that childhood obesity is becoming more common, although prevalence varied markedly, from 1% to nearly 18%. 
  • We have also carried out a nationwide cross-sectional survey of more than 10,000 children aged from 6 to 15 years living in rural and urban areas, which revealed that 3.5% of children were obese and 9.5% overweight. 

Rahman S, Islam MT, Alam DS. Obesity and overweight in Bangladeshi children and adolescents: a scoping review. BMC Public Health. 2014;14:70. 

Bulbul T, Hoque M. Prevalence of childhood obesity and overweight in Bangladesh: findings from a country wide epidemiological study. BMC Pediatr. 2014;14:86.

Raising awareness of hypertension awareness

  • We have shown that raising awareness of hypertension and encouraging people to seek help can increase healthcare-seeking and improve blood pressure control. 
  • Some 11% of individuals at rural Matlab and 24% at semi-urban Kamalapur were found to have high blood pressure, with only around half previously aware of their condition. 
  • After patients were advised to seek help from a qualified provider and encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle, 83% reported visiting a provider at six months follow up, and those visiting qualified providers showed significant falls in blood pressure. 

Alam DS et al. Awareness and control of hypertension in Bangladesh: follow-up of a hypertensive cohort. BMJ Open. 2014;4(12):e004983.