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Double Burden of Obesity and Hypertension in the Elderly: Cross- Sectional Study of Prevalence and Risk Factors in Foumban, West Region, Cameroon

Author(s): William Dakam, Pierre Mintom, Chetou Mbete, Christine Fernande Nyangono Biyegue

Objective: To identify the factors contributing to the double burden of obesity and hypertension in the elderly Cameroonians.

Methodology: A total of 172 participants aged over 60 were enrolled in a crosssectional study carried out in households in the city of Foumban. The sociodemographic and nutritional data of each participant were collected using a questionnaire adapted from the WHO STEP wise approach while anthropometric and hemodynamic measurements were recorded. Based on the WHO guidelines and ACC/AHA definitions, three patterns of the double burden of obesity and hypertension were investigated: i) generalized obesity/hypertension (GO/H), ii) abdominal obesity/hypertension (AO/H) and iii) combined generalized and abdominal obesity/hypertension (CO/H).

Results: Prevalence of the different patterns of the double burden of obesity and hypertension were: 29.7% (CO/H), 37.8% (GO/H), and 46.5% (AO/H). Type of marriage, source of income, consumption of fat and starchy recipes, consumption of refined sugars and family history were significantly linked to the AO/H pattern while consumption of refined sugars and irregular consumption of fruits were associated with the GO/H pattern.

Conclusion: Abdominal obesity appears to be the most frequent pattern of the double burden of obesity and hypertension in the elderly. Key risk factors are mainly diet-based, suggesting the importance of nutritional education of the elderly in Cameroon. Yet, large scale studies are needed to refine the nutritional education strategies for the elderly in Cameroon.

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