Association of waist and hip circumferences with the presence of hypertension and pre-hypertension in young South African adults

  • BN Nkeh-Chungag
  • TH Mxhosa
  • PN Mgoduka
Keywords: anthropometry, waist circumference, hip circumference, hypertension, pre-hypertension


Background: Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) including hypertension(HT) which is itself a risk factor for CVDs. Recent studies suggest that waist circumference (WC) may be more sensitive than Body Mass Index (BMI) in determining individual risk scores for CVDs.
Objectives: The current study aimed at investigating the influence of various anthropometric variables on blood pressure status in a group of students from Walter Sisulu University.
Methods: Informed consent was obtained from 216 male and female students from Walter Sisulu University with a mean age of 22.1±0.2 years. Anthropometric measurements were performed for each participant. Blood pressure was measured in triplicates after 10 minutes of rest and the average computed.
Results: Just over 46% of the subjects were diagnosed with hypertension (HT) and pre-HT. The gender specific prevalence of HT/pre-HT was higher in the male (76.7%) compared to the female (30.5%) group. Waist circumference (WC) and total body fat (TBF) correlated significantly with blood pressure and HT/pre-HT in females but not males. ROC analysis showed that with the exception of waist-to-hip (WHR), all other anthropometric measurements and ratios studied can be used to discriminate blood pressure in young adult females not males.
Conclusion: Increased WC and HC were associated with HT and pre-HT in young adult females in the Walter Sisulu University.

Keywords: anthropometry, waist circumference, hip circumference, hypertension, pre-hypertension


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eISSN: 1680-6905