Marked changes in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have occurred over the past few years in both developed as well as developing countries. However, the epidemic of chronic NCDs is shifting from developed countries more towards developing countries. It is expected by 2020 that 80% of global cardiovascular diseases will be in low and middle-income countries. The increase in CVD is partially explained by the increased proportion of older adults, but it is also influenced by broader societal factors such as urbanization and industrialization, which change job structures, related efforts, and other activities, diet, and psychosocial stressors. Collectively these changes have a large impact on risk factors.

The PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology) study is a large-scale, multi-country epidemiological study that was developed to investigate community-level factors (urban-rural differences, built environment, policy environment, and industrialization), household-level factors (family structure, income, housing, etc.), and individual-level factors (lifestyle changes, genetic markers, psychological) which lead to the development of obesity, the nine risk factors for CVD (which collectively predict 90% of the global burden), and ultimately to diabetes and CVD.

Currently, 25 countries from all over the world are involved in this global research program, orchestrated by Prof Salim Yusuf (Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton, CA). South Africa has 4 participating sites: one urban and one rural site within the North West Province, one urban site in Langa, Western Cape, and one rural site in Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape.


Researchers from the North-West University that are currently involved in the PURE-SA study:



Responsible Researcher(s)

Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR)

Dr Lanthe Kruger (Principle Investigator)

Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART)

Prof Alta Schutte (Senior Investigator)

Prof Carla Fourie

Centre of Excellence for Nutrition (CEN)

Prof Salome Kruger

Prof Marlien Pieters

Prof Marius Smuts

Mrs Tertia Van Zyl

Positive Psychology (FORT)

Prof Marie Wissing

Dr Lusilda Schutte

Physical Activity, Sport, and Recreation (PhASRec)

Prof Hanlie Moss

Medicine Usage in South Africa (MUSA)

Prof Martie Lubbe

Pharmacy Practice

Mrs Elzabe Bekker


For any additional information please contact, Prof Lanthé Kruger.