Defining obesity using three anthropometric parameters, being components of two diagnostic criteria, amongst Nigerian women| Abstract


Journal of Dentistry, Medicine and Medical Sciences

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Defining obesity using three anthropometric parameters, being components of two diagnostic criteria, amongst Nigerian women


Maxwell M. Nwegbu

The study was to compare the results of obesity assessment as a component of metabolic syndrome diagnosis using two different diagnostic criteria amongst apparently healthy female adults. A hundred and twenty-six(126) adult females aged 40- 70 years were evaluated concurrently for obesity using waist circumference as defined by Adult Treatment Panel III(ATP III criteria), waist-hip ratio(WHR) and body mass index(BMI), the latter two as defined by the World Health Organization(WHO) criteria. These subjects were drawn from individuals attending the metabolic research unit of University College Hospital (a tertiary level referral health institution in Nigeria), for routine medical evaluation. The prevalence of obesity as defined by waist circumference using ATP III criteria was found to be 31.7%, whereas prevalence rates using WHR and BMI under WHO criteria were 21.4% and 23.8% respectively amongst the subjects. These findings on correlation analysis, showed a strong level of association between the three parameters as indices of obesity with the strongest agreement noted between BMI and WC(r=0.878) This study showed a good measure of agreement in the assessment of obesity in these female subjects when two major diagnostic criteria are applied. This is especially important in view of the lack of national surveys to arrive at ethno-specific and gender-based cut-offs for anthropometric measurements such as WC and WHR specific to our environment. Obesity being a major criterion in both the ATP III and WHO criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome, these findings have implications in this environment given the importance of screening for metabolic syndrome and/or obesity vis-? -vis their roles as cardiovascular risk factors.

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