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The association between body mass index and abdominal obesity with hypertension among South Asian population: findings from nationally representative surveys.

Clinical Hypertension 2024 Februrary 2
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the association between body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity with hypertension among the South Asian adults (18-69 years).

METHODS: This study utilized the nationally representative WHO STEPwise approach to surveillance data (n = 24,413) from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Hypertension was defined as having a systolic blood pressure of 140 mmHg or higher, a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mmHg or higher, and/or taking antihypertensive medications. A waist circumference ≥ 90 cm in men and ≥ 80 cm in women was considered as abdominal obesity. BMI was categorized according to Asia-specific cutoff and overweight was defined as BMI of 23.0-27.5 kg/m2 and obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 27.5 kg/m2 . Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the association between BMI and abdominal obesity with hypertension. The odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was reported.

RESULTS: Abdominal obesity increased the odds of hypertension 31%-105% compared to those who did not have abdominal obesity (OR: Afghanistan: 2.05; 95% CI: 1.27-3.31; Bangladesh: 1.55; 95% CI: 1.18-2.04; Bhutan: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.03-1.66; Nepal: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.31-2.18; Sri Lanka:1.55; 95% CI: 1.23-1.95). The odds increased among participants with both overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity. In all five countries under study, participants with both overweight and abdominal obesity (OR: Afghanistan: 2.75; 95% CI: 1.75-4.34; Bangladesh: 2.53; 95% CI: 1.90-3.37; Bhutan: 2.22; 95% CI: 1.64-3.00; Nepal: 2.08; 95% CI: 1.54-2.81; Sri Lanka: 2.29; 95% CI: 1.77-2.98), as well as those with obesity and abdominal obesity (OR: Afghanistan: 6.94; 95% CI: 4.68-10.30; Bangladesh: 2.95; 95% CI: 2.19-3.97; Bhutan: 3.02; 95% CI: 2.23-4.09; Nepal: 4.40; 95% CI: 3.05-6.34; Sri Lanka: 3.96; 95% CI: 2.94-5.32), exhibited higher odds of having hypertension as compared to participants with a normal BMI and no abdominal obesity.

CONCLUSION: Having both abdominal obesity and overweight/obesity increased the odds of hypertension among South Asian adults. Preventing overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity is necessary for preventing the burden of hypertension in South Asia.

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