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Original Article

J Liaquat Uni Med Health Sci. 2015; 14(1): 26-32

Obesity and Hypertension in Female Medical Students; Frequency and Risk Factors.

Dr. Nadia Shams. Dr. Furquana Niaz Dr. Rajesh Motwani Dr. Zaman Shaikh Dr. Fyza Saleem.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency and risk factors of obesity and hypertension in female
medical students.
STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive cross sectional study.
SETTING: Department of Medicine, Sir Syed College of Medical Sciences and Hospital Karachi.
STUDY DURATION: 3 months (March 2014 to June 2014)
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Total 307 female medical students were included after ethical approval.
Students with systemic illness, diabetes mellitus and taking corticosteroids were excluded.
Demographic details obtained, followed by anthropometric measurements; height,
weight, waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Students were classified as underweight,
at risk, overweight, obesity grade I and obesity grade II as per WHO criteria for Asians.
Blood pressure of each student was measured at two occasions. Outdoor activity time, screen
time, sedentary time, dietary preferences, sleep hours and family history documented. Data analyzed
via SPSS version 17 with significant p-value < 0.05.
RESULTS: Among 307 students, obesity was found in 34% (25.4%obesity grade I and 8.8%
obesity gradeII). Hypertension was found in 4.88 %. There was significant association between
hypertension and obesity (12 % obese hypertensiveversus 1.9 % non obese hypertensive students).
35 % students had higher waist circumference that was associated with hypertension.
Excessive use of soft drinks, diet drinks, meat, dairy products, chocolates, oversleep on weekends
and daily screen time >2 hours were found to be associated with obesity.
CONCLUSION: Higher prevalence of obesity and obesity related hypertension in younger age
group needs to be addressed. Those with obesity should be screened for the presence of hypertension
at younger age. Waist circumference should be considered in addition to BMI while
screening for obesity, and evaluation of its risk factors in Asians.Creating awareness and timely
intervention in terms of dietary modification, adequate physical activity and sleep hours thus
reducingthe screen time and sedentary time may help in controlling obesity and its complications
among our young generation. Weight loss must be the first line of therapy in obesity related
hypertension among younger obese population

Key words: Body Mass index. Hypertension.Obesity.Screen time. Waist Circumference.

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