Introduction Being overweight is associated with twofold to sixfold increase in risk of developing hypertension. Studies in urban Indian population also show this association. Present study examines relationship of different anthropometric indicators and blood pressure levels in rural population in central India about which little is known.
Methods This cross-sectional study was carried out in the areas of two Rural Health Training Centres of Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram; through house-to-house visits. Two stage sampling method (30-cluster followed by systematic random) was used to reach the respondents' households. Partial correlation coefficients were used for continuous variables. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the influence of different anthropometric indicators on the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Results The mean systolic blood pressure was 120.2 and 118.4 mm Hg in men and women respectively while the mean diastolic blood pressure was 77.7 and 76.3 mm Hg in men and women respectively. Mean values of body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio, waist circumference and waist-height ratio was significantly higher among hypertensive than normotensive men and women. There was a significant positive correlation of obesity indicators with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure; except for waist-hip ratio and diastolic blood pressure. BMI was a better predictor of both systolic (β 0.59, SE 0.11, p<0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (β 0.49, SE 0.10, p<0.001) than waist circumference.
Conclusion BMI and waist circumference had strong correlation with systolic and diastolic blood pressure.