The Waist Circumference Measurement: A Simple Method for Assessing the Abdominal Obesity 1510-1513
Dr. Anuradha R.
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine,
Saveetha Medical College, Thandalam,
Kanchipuram District,Tamilnadu, India.
Introduction: Excess abdominal fat is an independent predictor of the risk factors and the morbidity of obesity related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular diseases. The Waist Circumference (WC) is positively correlated with the abdominal fat. Hence, the waist circumference is a valuable, convenient and a simple measurement method which can be used for identifying the individuals who are at an increased risk for the above mentioned diseases.
Objectives: 1. To assess the abdominal obesity by measuring the waist circumference among the women who were aged 20 years and above in an urban slum of Chennai, India. 2. To identify the socio -demographic factors which were associated with the abdominal obesity in the above study population.
Settings and Design: A community based and a cross sectional study was carried out in an urban slum of Chennai, India.
Methods and Materials: The present study was undertaken in an urban slum of Chennai city, among the women who were aged 20 years and above. One slum was selected randomly and the households in the slum were sampled by a systematic random sampling method. A pre-designed and a pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect the information regarding the socio-demographic profile of the women. Their waist circumference was measured by using a flexible inch tape. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) and the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO)(2000), the following cut off values for the waist circumference were used to assess the abdominal obesity for women: WC<80cms – normal and WC > 80cms-abdominal obesity.
Statistical Analysis: It was done by using the Statistical Package For Social Science (SPSS ), version 11.5. The prevalence was expressed in percentage and the Chi square test was used to find its association with the factors.
Results: In the study population, the prevalence of abdominal obesity (WC > 80 cms) was 29.8% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 25.9–34 %). A significant association was found between the age, religion, a higher socio-economic status and the abdominal obesity. No significant association was noted between the educational status, occupation, marital status, type of family and the abdominal obesity.
Conclusion: Abdominal obesity among the urban slum women is on the rise. The abdominal obesity was found to be significantly higher among the slum women with increasing age and in those who belonged to the muslim religion and to a higher socio-economic status.