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Objective: To find out the frequency of central obesity and risk factors for obesity based on waist
circumference (WC) in healthy volunteers.
Material and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study in terms of data collection and analysis
was conducted at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) and Welfare Clinics in Peshawar City, from
November 2005 till April 2006 (6 months). A convenient sample of 1031 healthy volunteers accompanying
their patient to Out Patient Department (OPD), Ward at HMC and at welfare clinics in the city were
included in the study. A structured interview questionnaire was administered to all participants and their
anthropometric measurements taken in standardized way.
Results: Out of 1031 individuals (778 males, 253 females) with mean age of 35.75±13.45 years, the
frequency of high waist circumference was 57%, significantly higher in females (89%) compared to males
(47%). It increased with age peaking at 49-58 year age group and declining thereafter. Married subjects
(67%), illiterates (69%), housewives (96%), car-owners (61%) and hypertensive subjects had significantly
higher frequencies of increased waist circumference. Ethnicity (p=0.45), smoking (p=0.36) and awareness
of risks (p=0.91) did not show significant association with frequency of increased waist.
Conclusion: There is a very high frequency of increased waist circumference particularly among females.
There is progressive increase in waist with increasing age with a decline later in life. There is positive
association of increased waist with occupation, educational status, use of cars and married marital status.
There is no association of high waist with smoking, awareness or ethnicity.
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