Author(s): Yoganandan Dayanandan, Premkumar Gunaseelan

BACKGROUND: Hypertension exerts a substantial public health burden on cardiovascular health status and healthcare systems in India. It is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease35. This study was aimed to determine the prevalence of obesity in hypertensive individuals attending the medical OPD or admitted in a tertiary care center and to determine the association of obesity with socio-economic class in hypertensive individuals.

METHODS:From November 2014 to May 2016, a cross sectional study was done among 200 hypertensive patients attending the OPD or admitted in tertiary care center. The following parameters were used; blood pressure, height, weight, BMI as per WHO criteria, socio-economic class based on modified Kuppuswamy scale, nutritional pattern, physical activity, alcohol intake, type of occupation- sedentary/manual and residence (urban/rural).

RESULTS:The significant risk factors by univariate analysis were found to be upper-middle socio-economic class, female sex, family history of hypertension, family history of diabetes, family history of dyslipidaemia, urban residence and sedentary life style. After multivariate analysis, the confounding factors were removed and it was found that female sex, sedentary life style and people from urban areas had significant independent association between hypertension and obesity.

CONCLUSIONS: This research revealed a higher prevalence of obesity in the urban women with hypertension and sedentary life style. The need of the hour is to develop comprehensive and flexible measures to promote adoption of a healthy diet and physical activity for the at-risk population.