Prevalence of Obesity in Women of Accra, Ghana|
Duda, Rosemary B.; Darko, Rudolph; Seffah, Joseph; Adanu, Richard M.K.; Anarfi, John K. & Hill, Allan G.
The Women's Health Study of Accra, Ghana measured the burden of obesity and obesity-linked illnesses in urban women. This is a Cross-sectional community based study. 1328 adult women, age 18 years and older, were selected as a representative sampling of the women of Accra. A comprehensive medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests were performed. Overweight and obesity status was determined by calculating the body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2). BMI measurements are available for 1237 non-pregnant women. A total of 430 women (34.8%) were obese; 340 (27.4%) were overweight; 369 (29.8%) were normal weight; and 98 (8.0%) were underweight. Risk factors for obesity include age 50 to 70 years, OR 2.12 [1.72 -2.62], p<0.001; total pregnancies > 5 (p<0.001); mean age of last delivery > 34 years (p<0.001); ownership of a television OR 1.57 [1.20-2.07], p=0.001; telephone OR 1.55 [1.22-1.98], p=0.001; or a refrigerator OR 1.55 [1.20-2.00], p=0.001. There was no significant association with socioeconomic status. Significant medical conditions associated with obesity include hypertension OR 2.97 CI [2.17-4.05], p<0.001; elevated fasting blood glucose OR 1.94 [CI 1.04 – 3.62], p=0.037. This study identifies an unexpected high prevalence of obesity and obesity-linked illnesses in this population. Public and professional awareness of the prevalence of obesity and the associated health risks are critical for programs designed to improve women's health.