n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Relationship between obesity and blood pressure among employees in the Vhembe district municipality of Limpopo Province, South Africa - cardiovascular topics

Volume 30 Number 6
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between obesity and blood pressure among employees of the Vhembe district municipality of Limpopo province.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 452 local government employees (207 males, 245 females) aged 24–65 years. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure (BP) and waist circumference (WC) measurements, and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were assessed. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) statistics, version 21.

Results: The results showed that 27% of the participants were classified as overweight and 34% as obese, with females being more overweight and obese (29 and 48%, respectively) compared to males (24 and 17%, respectively). Twenty-five per cent of the participants were hypertensive, with females (27%) showing a higher prevalence compared to males (22%). Based on BMI categories, the obese group (35%) had a higher prevalence of hypertension in contrast to groups that were of normal weight (18%) and overweight (22%). The results also showed that systolic blood pressure (SBP) was positively (p ≤ 0.05) correlated with BMI (r = 0.15), WC (r = 0.26) and WHtR (r = 0.29) in the normal and overweight groups (WC, r = 0.23 and WHtR, r = 0.26), and WHtR correlated with SBP (r = 0.26) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (r = 0.19).

Conclusion: The study showed a high prevalence of overweight, obesity and hypertension, with females more affected than their male counterparts. BMI, WC and WHtR were positively correlated with SBP in the normal and overweight groups, with WHtR positively correlated with both SBP and DBP in the overweight group. Therefore, it is recommended that intervention regimes designed to address obesity and hypertension should consider risk awareness for cardiovascular diseases, impaired quality of life and productivity among local government employees.

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