Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2004 Feb;14(1):26-33.

Short stature, obesity and arterial hypertension in a very low income population in North-eastern Brazil.

Author information

Department of Physiology, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



This cross-sectional study involved the adult population (age >18 and <60 years) of a 315-shack slum on the outskirts of the city of Maceió in North-eastern Brazil. The purpose was to investigate whether short stature in adults (an indicator of undernutrition in early life) is associated with arterial hypertension and obesity.


We collected the subjects socio-economic data, and arterial hypertension (AH), weight, height, waist circumference and waist/hip (W/H) circumference ratio measurements. Hypertension was diagnosed as diastolic AH f 90 mmHg and/or systolic AH f 140 mmHg. The body mass index (BMI) was used to determine nutritional status, with overweight/obesity being defined on the basis of a cut-off point of 25 kg/m2. A W/H ratio of f 0.80 for women or f 0.95 for men was considered indicative of abdominal obesity. Short stature was defined as falling into the 1st quartile (Q) of height distribution. Hypertension was prevalent in 28.5% of the population (women=38.5%; men=18.4%). The systolic and diastolic AH readings were significantly higher in women in the 1st Q than in those in the 4th Q, and the same was true of W/H. The prevalence of hypertension was statistically significant for the first two Q's in comparison with the last two: 22.1% vs 14.6% (men), and 42.4% vs 34.6% (women). Hypertension was more prevalent in women who were obese and short (50%) than in those who were obese but not short (OR=1.98; CI=1.22-2.96).


Living conditions were extremely precarious and the prevalence of hypertension was quite high. Stature negatively correlated with hypertension and overweight in women but not in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center