Farming: Primary prevention for hypertension? Effects of employment type on blood pressure

M. R. Gold, Peter Franks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


We report findings from the first stage of a community-oriented primary care approach initiated in a financially depressed agricultural area of upstate New York that sought to characterize the causes of relatively increased cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality in the region. This report focuses on 633 people aged 16 years and older employed in two adjacent towns. They were surveyed for standard sociodemographic data, information about utilization of and barriers to health care and preventive services, cardiovascular risk factors, and blood pressure measurements. Compared to other workers, those in farming had significantly more low income households, less education, less preventive care, more out-of-pocket expenses, and ate more eggs. After adjustment for other independent variables, farmers had significantly lower mean blood pressure (3.24 mm Hg, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 1, 5.5) than the other occupational groups. Age was a significant predictor of mean blood pressure for nonfarmers (.25 mm Hg/yr., Cl = 0.18, 0.32), but not for farmers (.09 mm Hg/yr., CI = -0.03, 0.21). These results are congruent with previous studies that have shown decreased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among farmers. Investigations into the culture of 'farm-life' may provide approaches to the primary prevention of hypertension, beyond those suggested by a focus on individual risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJournal of Rural Health
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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