Background: Both obesity and presence of certain patterns of lipid abnormalities has consistently been identified as a strong determinants of cardiovascular health. In resource limited populations, it is important to ascertain methods of reducing resources utilisation by identifying simple measures to cardiovascular risk. Considering the relative ease of measuring anthropometries (BMI, waist circumference-WC, and waist-hip ratio-WHR) data, we sought to determine if any measure of anthropometric measures could be used to identify persons with hypertension who have lipid abnormalities associated with atherogenicity.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study in which 414 participants newly diagnosed with essential hypertension formed the study population. Demographic and anthropometric data including weight, height, waist and hip circumferences were obtained. Fasting serum lipids including total cholesterol, HDL-C and triglycerides (TG) were measured. LDL-C was calculated by Frieldewald formula. Statistical analysis was done to determine the relationship between anthropometric indices and lipid profile levels.
Results: The study population consisted of 124 male and 290 female subjects with a mean age of 66±16.95 years (range, 30100 years). The female subjects were older than the male subjects (P=0.020). Eighty five percent, 58.5% and 30.7% of the study population had abnormal waist circumference (WC), abnormal waist-hip ratio (WHR) and BMI >25 kg/m2 respectively. Decreased HDL-C (70.1%) was the commonest lipid abnormality found followed by elevated LDL (6.0%). None of the anthropometric indices independently predicted abnormal lipid levels; older age and female sex independently predicted occurrence of at least one serum lipid abnormality.
Conclusion: None of the measures of obesity independently predicted abnormal lipid levels in newly diagnosed hypertension. Female gender, older age and systolic blood pressure were independently associated with abnormal serum lipids.