Volume 66, Issue 6 (5 2008)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2008, 66(6): 413-420 | Back to browse issues page

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Abstract:   (5127 Views)

Background: Identification of the best screening measure for the risk of chronic disease is essential. This study aims to comparatively assess the ability of waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHpR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) to predict hypertension among women in Tehran.

Methods: In this population-based cross-sectional study, a representative sample of 926 adult women aged 40-60 years were selected using a multi-stage cluster random sampling method. Demographic data were collected and anthropometric measures including weight, height, WC and hip circumference were assessed according to a standard protocol. BMI was calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. Cut-off points of 80 cm for waist circumference, 25kg/m2 for BMI, 0.87 for WHpR and 0.5 for WHtR were used. Blood pressure was measured and hypertension defined according to the sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC 6).

Results: In this study, the mean age of women is 48.7±5.6 years. Mean WC, BMI, WHpR and WHtR are 85.1±9.9cm, 29.4±4.6kg/m2, 0.82±0.06 and 0.55±0.06, respectively. Although all anthropometric indicators have a significant association to hypertension, WC has the highest sensitivity, specificity and accuracy in predicting hypertension in both age groups of 40-50 and 50-60 years. This measure also has the greatest area under the ROC curve compared to other anthropometric measures: 0.70(0.69-0.71) for WC, 0.65(0.62-0.67) for BMI, 0.62(0.60-0.64) for WHpR and 0.65(0.63-0.67) for WHtR.

Conclusions: Among this group of women in Tehran, waist circumference is the best screening measure for hypertension. However, no data are available regarding similar patients who have emigrated thus similar studies on Iranian women who have emigrated are recommended.

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