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      Cross-sectional analysis of obesity and high blood pressure among undergraduate students of a university medical college in South India

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          Abstract

          Objective: To estimate the prevalence of obesity and high blood pressure among undergraduate students of a university medical college.

          Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at a medical college among 434 medical students. A questionnaire was used to collect basic demographic details, followed by anthropometric measurements. Body mass index (BMI) was classified according to the World Health Organization classification. Blood pressure was measured with a standard mercury sphygmomanometer and classified according to the seventh report of the Joint National Committee (JNC VII) on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure. Data were entered into and analyzed with SPSS version 15.0.

          Results: Nearly 65.0% of students had normal BMI, 9.9% were underweight, 17.9% were overweight, and 7.6% were obese. Obesity was more prevalent among males than among females on the basis of anthropometric variables such as BMI, waist-hip ratio, and waist-stature ratio, and this difference was found to be statistically significant. Blood pressure was in the normal range among 55.0% of the students, 36.6% had blood pressure in the prehypertensive range, 7.6% had blood pressure in the stage 1 category of the JNC VII criteria, and 0.5% had blood pressure in the stage 2 category of the JNC VII criteria. Among the students who had blood pressure greater than 140/90 mm Hg, 63.0% were males and 37.0% were females, and this difference was statistically significant.

          Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity was 7.6% and that of high blood pressure was 8.1% among the medical students, which were higher than those reported in the literature for the same age group and warrant further evaluation.

          Statement of Significance: Non-communicable diseases have been described as the modern epidemic of the current era. A retrograde age shift is being noted in the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and obesity, which is alarming. Young adults are at an increased risk of developing these diseases because of indulgence in faulty lifestyle practices. The present study attempted to quantify the risk among medical students. The prevalence of obesity was 7.6% and that of high blood pressure was 8.1% among the medical students, which were higher than those reported in the literature for the same age group. Future medical professionals need to be aware of their own risk factors and take proactive steps before advising and encouraging their patients to adopt healthy lifestyles.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Prevalence of Overweight/Obesity and Its Associated Factors among University Students from 22 Countries

          Obesity among young people increases lifetime cardiovascular risk. This study assesses the prevalence of overweight/obesity and its associated factors among a random sample of university students from 22 universities in 22 low, middle income and emerging economy countries. This cross-sectional survey comprised of a self-administered questionnaire and collected anthropometric measurements. The study population was 6773 (43.2%) males and 8913 (56.8%) females, aged 16 to 30 years (mean 20.8 years, SD = 2.6). Body mass index (BMI) was used for weight status. Among men, the prevalence of underweight was 10.8%, normal weight 64.4%, overweight 18.9% and obesity 5.8%, while among women, the prevalence of underweight was 17.6%, normal weight 62.1%, overweight 14.1% and obesity 5.2%. Overall, 22% were overweight or obese (24.7% men and 19.3% women). In multivariate regression among men, younger age, coming from a higher income country, consciously avoiding fat and cholesterol, physically inactivity, current tobacco use and childhood physical abuse, and among women older age, coming from a higher income country, frequent organized religious activity, avoiding fat and cholesterol, posttraumatic stress symptoms and physical childhood abuse were associated overweight or obesity. Several gender specific risk factors identified can be utilized in health promotion programmes.
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            Waist-to-height ratio is a better obesity index than body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio for predicting diabetes, hypertension and lipidemia.

            Body mass index (BMI, kg/m.sq) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) are widely used as obesity indices for diabetes and cardiovascular risks. Lower adult height was related to diabetes and stroke. Waist-girth was proved important for visceral obesity. Incorporating waist-girth and height as waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), we reported earlier--"Waist-to-height ratio is an important predictor of hypertension and diabetes". We readdressed this index in a larger sample with two-sample OGTT and lipid profiles. In a cluster sampling of 16,818 rural inhabitants, considering age > or = 20 y, 5713 subjects were found eligible. Of them, 4923 (M/F=2321/2602) volunteered for height, weight, blood pressure, waist-girth and hip-girth. Fasting venous blood (5 ml) was drawn for plasma glucose, total cholesterol (T-chol), Triglycerides (TG) and high-density lipoprotien (HDL-c). Overall, 1565 participants were undertaken for OGTT. The mean (SD) values of BMI, WHR and WHtR for subjects with diabetes and hypertension were significantly higher in either sex. The level significance was highest for WHtR. The prevalence of diabetes and hypertension increased significantly with higher quintiles of BMI, WHR and WHtR (chi sq values were largest in WHtR for both events). Partial correlation coefficients, controlling for age and sex, showed that BMI, WHR and WHtR significantly correlated with systolic and diastolic BP, FBG, T-chol and TG. In the entire correlation matrix, the 'r' values were the highest for WHtR. Taking diabetes and hypertension as dependent variables, logistic regression also showed the highest odds ratio in higher WHtR than BMI and WHR. We conclude that WHtR was proved again a valuable obesity index for predicting diabetes, hypertension and lipidemia.
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              Appropriate body-mass index for Asian populations and its implications for policy and intervention strategies

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                FMCH
                Family Medicine and Community Health
                FMCH
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                2009-8774
                2305-6983
                May 2018
                May 2018
                : 6
                : 2
                : 63-69
                Affiliations
                1Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Dr. Chythra R. Rao, Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal 576104, India, E-mail: chythra.raj@ 123456manipal.edu
                Article
                FMCH.2017.0134
                10.15212/FMCH.2017.0134
                Copyright © 2018 Family Medicine and Community Health

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                Product
                Self URI (journal page): http://fmch-journal.org/
                Funding
                This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
                Categories
                Original Research

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