A cross-sectional study was conducted among 175 randomly selected faculty and administrative employees of the different departments and colleges of the University of the Philippines Manila.
The overall prevalence of hypertension is this study was 10.3%. Hypertension was found to be more prevalent among males than females. Among those identified as overweight and obese using the BMI, the prevelence of hypertension was 14.6%. On the other hand, among those with android obesity as measured by WHR, the prevalence of hypertension was 13.3%. It was noted that the number of hypertensive subject was seen among those below 40 years old.
Logistic regeression analysis showed that BMI;WHR; biologic factors such as age and sex; socio-demographic factors like income, physical activity, and cigarette smoking, were not significantly associated with hypertension. Qualitative dietary assessment showed indication of increased intake of energy from carbohydrates and fats and high salt intake. These are dietary factors that have strong influence in the development of hypertension.
Body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio were used in the study to identify subjects who were overweight and obese as well as those with android obesity respectively. A total of 48 overweight and obese subjects out of 175 (27.4%) were identified using the BMI. On the other hand, there were 45 subjects out of 175 (25.7%) with WHR values above the cut-off points indicating android obesity. Overall fatness and android obesity were prevalent in females than in males. The very close prevalence of these conditions as measured separately by the two indices, indicate that either of the two can be used to reliably measure obesity in general.
The validity of BMI and WHR as possible parameters in screeening for the risk of hypertension was determined. Both have very high specificity indicating that they can identify by almost 94% those without hypertension thereby decreasing the likelihood of false positives. However, both indices have low sensitivity in identifying correctly those who have hypertension thereby increasing the likelihood of false negative reuslts. The predictive value of a positive WHR was higher that the predictive value of a positive BMI. On the other hand, the predictive value of a negative test was for WHR thatn BMI.
These results indicate that the two anthropometric indices can either be used singly or in combination in the assessment of obesity. However, WHR seems to be a better predictor of hypertension among obese individuals considering that it has a high specificity, a relatively higher predictive values of positive and negative tests compared to BMI.
These findings seemed to support the view of the importance of WHR as a predictor of hypertension and CVD. This is a public health significance considering that WHR is a modifiable factor which would serve as one of the basis in primary prevention and control of hypertension and CVD. Non-pharmacologic intervention such as diet modification and weight control can be alternative and better approach in the reduction of morbidity and mortality from hypertension and cardiovascular diseases here in the Philippines.