BACKGROUND: An increase in the number of overweight and obese subjects in the general population has been observed.The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obese subjects in the general population and its association with undiagnosed pathologies, such as diabetes mellitus [DM] and hypertension [HT], by taking age, gender and place of residence [rural or urban] into account.
FINDINGS: A cross-sectional population-based survey was conducted in Castellón, East Spain in 2005-2006. The sample included 2,062 participants aged 18-94 years. Weight, height, blood pressure and glycaemia values were recorded, and information about gender, age and place of residence was obtained. Overweight, obesity, and undiagnosed HT and DM prevalences were calculated. Multiple regression analyses were done to assess the association of overweight/obesity with undiagnosed HT and DM by adjusting for age, gender and place of residence.The overall overweight, obesity, and undiagnosed HT and DM prevalences were 39.9% [95% CI:37.3-42.0], 25.9% [95% CI:24.0-27.9], 9.0% [95% CI:7.8-10.4] and 12.6% [95% CI:11.2-14.1], respectively. We identified various independent risk factors; those relating to overweight were increasing age, male gender and rural residential area, while that relating to obesity was increasing age. Compared to normal weight adults, the Relative Prevalence Ratio (RPR) for subjects who were overweight and had HT was 2.00 [95% CI:1.21-3.32]; that for obesity and HT was 1.91 [95% CI:1.48-2.46], and it was 1.50 [95% CI:1.25-1.81] for obesity and DM.
CONCLUSION: Overweight and obesity prevalences, and their association with undiagnosed DM and HT, are high in our study population.
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