Obesity and Hypertension among Urban Affluent Adult Males from Pune, India


  • Agharkar Research Institute, Biometry & Nutrition Unit, Pune, 411 004, India


Although hypertension is highly prevalent among urban Indian population, there exists insufficient investigation on its relation with obesity and abdominal obesity indicators for early risk prediction. Data on Body Mass Index (BMI), Body Fat (BF%), Waist Circumference (WC), Abdominal Circumference (AC), Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR), Waist to Height ratio (WHT), Sub-scapular (SSF) and Supra-iliac Skin Folds (SUF) and Blood Pressure were recorded through a cross-sectional study on 302 urban affluent men (aged 30-60 years) in Pune, India. Younger adults had the highest prevalence of both overweight (25.2%) and obesity (52.0%) and age related trend was significant (p<0.05) for prevalence of abdominal obesity. Obesity prevalence based on BF (%) was alarmingly high compared to that based on BMI. Indicators of abdominal obesity (WC, AC, SSF and SUF) increased with increase in BMI. Mean values of SBP and DBP and prevalence of hypertension increased significantly (p<0.05) with increase in BMI, AC, WC and its ratios but not with increase in either BF (%) or skinfolds indicating that it is the distribution of fat and not the total body fat that matters. The risk of hypertension was 2 to 3 times higher for BMI > 27.6 kg/m2, for WC > 91.3 cm, for AC > 97.0 cm and for WHT > 0.55. Optimal cut-off for risk of hypertension obtained by ROC was much lower than conventional cut-off in case of WC (86.3 vs 90 cm) than that for BMI (25.3 vs 25 kg/m2) indicating the need for further studies to validate the potential of simple measurements such as WC and its ratios for risk assessment of hypertension among Indian population.


Obesity, Abdominal Obesity, BMI, Waist Circumference, Hypertension.

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