The Prevalence of Obesity and its Related Risk Factor in the North of Iran in 2006

Gholamreza Veghari, Mehdi Sedaghat, Hamidreza Joshaghani, Ahmad Hoseini, Farhad Niknezhad, Abdolhamid Angizeh, Ebrahim Tazik, Pooneh Moharloei


Background: The main objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of the obesity and the related risk factors in the north of Iran.

Methods: This was a population-based cross-sectional study that enrolled 2495 subjects (1247 males and 1248 females) using stratified cluster sampling. Interviewers recorded the data using a multidimensional questionnaire including anthropometric indexes. Body mass index equal to or greater than 25 was considered as overweight and that of 30 and 40 as obese and pathologic obese respectively. SPSS 16.0 software was used for statistical data analysis.

Results: Mean age of the subjects was 39.2 [95% CI: 38.6, 39.8] yr. Mean body mass index was 25.3 [95% CI: 25.0, 25.6] kg/m2 for men and 27.5 [95% CI: 27.2, 27.9] kg/m2 for women. The prevalence rates of overweight, obesity and pathologic obesity were 29.9% (745/2495), 22.5% (561/2495) and 1.8% (44/2495) respectively. The prevalence of obesity was higher in urban residents than rural ones, 27.3% versus 18.9% respectively (P < 0.001). The prevalence rates of obesity and pathologic obesity were much higher in women than men were, 30.3% versus 15.4% and 3.0% versus 0.6% respectively (P=0.001). The odds ratio estimate was 1.68 [95% CI: 1.40, 2.02] for urban area compared to rural area; 2.60 [95% CI: 2.14, 3.15] for females compared to males; 5.95 [95% CI: 3.54, 9.99] for married people compared to single people; 1.89 [95% CI: 1.44, 2.84] for age group of 55-65 years compared to age group of 15-24 years; 1.76 [95% CI: 1.17, 2.64] for illiterate people compared to those who had academic education; 1.98 [95% CI: 1.13, 2.49] for poor people compared to people with high economic level.

Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity and overweight is very high in the north of Iran, hence is a signal of serious health problem, and should be the focus of special attention.


Obesity; Adults; Socio demographic factors; Iran

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