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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2014

High prevalence of overweight, obesity, and hypertension with increased risk to cardiovascular disorders among adults in northwest Ethiopia: a cross sectional study

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2014
Beyene Moges, Bemnet Amare, Bereket Fantahun, Afework Kassu
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contribution

AK was involved in the design of the study and carrying out the data collection while BA and BM were involved in data analysis and drafting the manuscript. BF was involved in critically reviewing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Overweight and obesity are components of a defined cluster of risk factors for non-communicable diseases, once problems for only the high-income countries, in recent days became rampant in developing countries. Despite the lack of extensive data on metabolic and cardio vascular disorders in Ethiopia, the prevalence of obesity among young adults (15–24 years), in a cross sectional study conducted in 1997, was 0.7% for men and 6% for women. The prevalence of hypertension (HTN) was found to be 7.1% of the population. The objective of this study was to see the prevalence and association of overweight, obesity and HTN and to check if there was any agreement among the various anthropometric measurements in detecting overweight and obesity.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in Gondar city, Northwest Ethiopia. A total of 68 participants with age >18 year were randomly selected and included. Data were collected using questionnaires and through physical measurements of weight, height and blood pressure, using the WHO recommendations.


The prevalence of hypertension was 13.3% (9/68). The prevalence of overweight based on calculated body mass index (BMI) was 32.4% (22/68) while the prevalence of obesity was 16.2% (11/68). Body fat percentage (BFP) effectively classified all of the ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ values according to the BMI as ‘overweight/obese’ (P = 0.016). Risk level classification with waist circumference enabled to correctly classify most (90.9%) and all of the ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ BMI values as ‘increased risk/substantially increased risk’ (P < 0.001). Similarly, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) was able to classify all ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ BMI values as ‘increased risk/substantially increased risk’ (P < 0.001).


In conclusion, the current study was able to detect a high prevalence of overweight, obesity, and HTN among adult population in Gondar town. There is a prevalent high level of general adiposity and central obesity. WHtR and BFP were the most efficient measurements to identify all ‘high risk’ groups of individuals as ‘high risk’ irrespective of their gender. Further study is recommended to elucidate the risk factors and complications of obesity and overweight in the study area and beyond.
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