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Original Article

Med Arch. 2016; 70(3): 208-212

Self-reported Prevalence and Risk Factors of Non-communicable Diseases in the Albanian Adult Population

Fatjona Kraja, Bledar Kraja, Iris Mone, Ilda Harizi, Adriana Babameto, and Genc Burazeri.

Aim: There is growing evidence that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a major health problem in developing and transitional countries. The prevalence of NCDs and associated factors are under-researched in Albania. We aimed to assess the prevalence and socio-demographic and lifestyle correlates of NCDs in the Albanian adult population. Methods: The study was carried out in the framework of Albania Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS), a national population-based cross-sectional study conducted in 2012 including 12,554 men and women aged ≥35 years. All participants reported on the presence of at least one chronic condition, which in the analysis was dichotomized into “yes” vs. “no”. Information on socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, education, employment status, residence) and lifestyle factors (smoking and alcohol consumption) was also collected. Logistic regression was used to assess socio-demographic and behavioral correlates of NCDs. Results: Overall, the prevalence of chronic diseases in this population-based sample of Albanian adults was 2864/12554=22.8%. Upon multivariable adjustment for all covariates, positive correlates of chronic conditions were older age (OR=6.0, 95%CI=5.3-6.8), female gender (OR=1.2, 95%CI=1.1-1.4), residence in coastal areas of Albania (OR=2.0, 95%CI=1.7-2.5), unemployment (OR=1.8, 95%CI=1.6-2.0), low education (OR=1.6, OR=1.3-1.9) and current smoking (OR=1.2, 95%CI=1.1-1.5). Conversely, there was an inverse association with poverty (OR=0.8, 95%CI=0.7-1.0). Conclusions: This study provides evidence on self-reported NCDs and its determinants in transitional Albania. These baseline data may be useful for assessment of future NCD trends in Albania and cross-comparisons with the neighboring countries.

Key words: Albania, non-communicable diseases, risk factors.

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