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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Nov;25(11):1736-40.

Obesity and selected co-morbidities in an urban Palestinian population.

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  • 1Institute of Community and Public Health Birzeit University, Birzeit, West Bank.



To assess the prevalence of obesity and central obesity in an urban Palestinian population and their associations with selected co-morbidities, including diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia.


A population-based cross-sectional survey in an urban Palestinian community.


Men and women aged 30-65 y residing in the urban community, excluding pregnant women.


According to WHO guidelines, obesity for men and women was defined as BMI> or =30 kg x m(-2), while pre-obesity was defined as BMI 25-29.9 kg x m(-2). Central obesity was defined as a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of >0.90 in men and >0.85 in women.


The prevalence of obesity in this population was high at 41% (49% and 30% in women and men, respectively). Central obesity was more prevalent among men (59% compared to 25% in women). After adjusting for the effects of age, sex, smoking and each other, obesity and central obesity were found to be significantly associated with diabetes, low HDL-cholesterol and elevated triglycerides in separate logistic regression analyses. Central obesity was also significantly associated with hypertension (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.30-3.91).


Obesity and central obesity are prevalent in the urban Palestinian population. Their associations with diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia point to a potential rise in cardiovascular disease (CVD). An understanding of the reasons behind the high prevalence of obesity is essential for its prevention as well as for the prevention of the morbidities to which it may lead.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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