Older adults are at risk for developing metabolic syndrome (MSX). Given the growing rural older adult population and the unknown prevalence rate of MSX in rural communities, the purpose of this paper is to assess the risk factors for MSX among rural elders.Design/methodology/approachIndividuals aged 55+ from four West Alabama rural communities were assessed by an interdisciplinary healthcare team via a mobile unit (n=216). Descriptive analyses and analysis of variances (ANOVA) were conducted to assess the effect of gender, race and community on the number of risk factors of MSX among rural elders.FindingsResults of a three-way ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between gender, age and community on the number of MSX risk factors [F (16,193)= 2.41, p <0.01]. Rural communities with lower social economic status (SES) and predominantly African American residents were at higher risk for developing MSX compared to communities with higher SES [F(3, 68) = 7.42, p<0.05].Practical implicationsFindings suggest low SES rural communities are at risk of developing MSX. Innovative approaches such as mobile healthcare delivery are crucial to providing quality healthcare and preventive health screens to underserved rural older adult communities.Originality/valueLimited research is available on assessing rural midlife and older adults at risk for metabolic syndrome largely due to lack of communication or transportation infrastructure and their history of negative experiences with public institutions. This research demonstrates that these barriers can be addressed.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 3, 2018
Keywords: Gender; Rural; Metabolic syndrome; Mobile healthcare; Older minority adults; Rural health care