n South African Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease - Ellisras Longitudinal Study 2017 : the relationship between waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, skinfolds and blood pressure among young adults in Ellisras, South Africa (ELS 14)

Volume 16 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1811-6515


Background: Obesity and hypertension are major risk factors for non-communicable diseases in the world today. The relationship between indicators of obesity and blood pressure needs attention in the rural South African population.

Aim: This study examined the relationship between anthropometric parameters and blood pressure (BP) among young adults in the Ellisras rural area of South Africa.

Methods: A total of 742 (365 females and 377 males) young adults aged 22 to 30 years, who were part of the Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS), participated in the research. Anthropometric and BP measurements were taken using the protocol of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between anthropometric parameters and BP. The risk of developing hypertension among young Ellisras adults was evaluated using logistic regression.

Results: The results indicted a higher but non-significant prevalence of hypertension in men (2.7%) than women (2.4%). Linear regression showed a significant positive (p < 0.05) association between waist circumference and systolic BP (beta = 0.273, 95% CI: 0.160–0.386), even after being adjusted for age and gender (beta = 253, 95% CI: 0.127–0.343). The risk for developing hypertension was significant (p < 0.05) for waist circumference (OR = 2.091, 95% CI: 1.129–3.871) after adjustment for age and gender.

Conclusion: Of all anthropometric parameters, waist circumference was most significantly associated with BP (p < 0.05). Anthropometric indicators of obesity were strong predictors of hypertension among young adults in the Ellisras rural area.

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