Chronic diseases risk factors and access to health exams among women in South Africa
Using data from the World Health Survey (WHS) carried out in South Africa in 2003, the aim of this study is to establish chronic diseases risk factors and access to preventive exams for cervical and breast cancer among South African women. The sample included in this analysis included 1236 women 18 years and above. Results indicate that the most prevalent risk factors were never having had mammography (83.3%), not having had a pap smear examination in the past 3 years (82.9%), <5 units per day fruit and vegetable intake (69.5%), overweight or obese (62.5%), and 33.4% were physically inactivity (<>150 min/week). Younger age, higher educational levels, being married or cohabiting and access to piped water were significantly associated with preventive exam for cervical cancer and mammography. This study found clustering among risk factors. There is a need to develop health promotion programmes directed at the female population.
Key words: Chronic diseases, risk factors, access, preventive health exams, South African women