Researches

A STUDY OF OBESITY AND RELATED CARDIOVASCULAR RISK FACTORS IN AN URBAN AREA IN SRI LANKA

INTRODUCTION

This research study was undertaken to bring to light the extent of obesity in an ‘apparently healthy’ adult population living in an urban locality in Sri Lanka. The rationale for this study was based on three facts drawn from an extensive literature survey. One was the mounting evidence that urban dweller, world over, is predisposed to obesity. The second was that the urban dweller in particular, succumbs to a spectrum of comorbidities associated with obesity that degrade the quality of life. The third was, paucity of information pertinent to the urban dweller in Sri Lanka, with regards to obesity and obesity related comorbidities.

Objective

The overall objective was to determine the degree of obesity and abdominal obesity by BMI and WHR, respectively, in an adult urban population and to find associations with relevant socio-economic conditions and also, determine the impact of obesity and abdominal obesity on hypertension, hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemias.

The study also looked at the impact of familial predisposition and physical activity on obesity.

Study locality

This study was based in the author’s practice (a single-handed family practice) which is situated in a Gramaseva Division (smallest administrative unit in the country). This Gramaseva Division of Wattegedara, which has an adult population of 3700 people approximately, is situated in the District of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Study population and study sample

At the commencement of the study, the author invited all persons between the ages 20 to 70 years in Wattegedara to participate in the study. 1620 persons responded giving consent and participated in the initial screening for selection of ‘apparently healthy’ persons. 1241 persons were found to be apparently healthy and out of them a study sample of 414 persons (=study subjects) was randomly selected.

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