Association of lipid profile and waist circumference as cardiovascular risk factors for overweight and obesity among school children in Qatar
Nasser M Rizk, Mervat Yousef
Health Sciences Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Background: Childhood obesity is a national as well as worldwide problem. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of overweight and obesity among Qatari children with lipid profile and waist circumference as adverse cardiovascular risk factors in children aged 6–11 years. International Obesity Task Force reference values were used to screen for overweight and obesity.
Methods: A cross-sectional study in a randomly selected sample was conducted in 315 Qatari primary school students aged 6–11 years. Anthropometric measurements, including body weight, height, waist circumference, and body mass index were calculated for 151 girls and 164 boys. Weight categories were based on International Obesity Task Force reference values. Fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and triglycerides were measured, and atherogenic index was calculated.
Results: In total, 31.71% of boys and 32.78% of girls were overweight or obese. Overweight and obese children screened against International Obesity Task Force reference values had a significantly increased risk of high waist circumference (P < 0.0001), hypertriglyceridemia (P = 0.002), low HDL-C (P = 0.017), and atherogenic index (P = 0.021) compared with children who were not overweight or obese. The partial correlation coefficient for the cardiovascular risk marker of waist circumference indicated a positive significant association with total cholesterol (r = 0.465, P = 0.003), triglycerides (r = 0.563, P < 0.001), and LDL-C (r = 0.267, P = 0.003), and a significant negative association with HDL-C (r = −0.361, P = 0.004). Overweight and obesity significantly increase the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CIs) of cardiovascular risk factors as follows: hypertriglyceridemia (OR 6.34, CI 2.49–13.44, P < 0.0001); LDL-C (OR 3.18, CI 1.04–9.75, P = 0.043); hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.88, CI 1.10–3.19, P = 0.020); and increased waist circumference (OR 1.40, CI 1.29–1.55, P = 0.022). Overweight and obesity significantly increased the risk of atherosclerosis (assessed by atherogenic index) by about two-fold (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.06–3.15, P = 0.025).
Conclusion: Overweight and obese children screened by International Obesity Task Force reference values are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.
Keywords: cardiovascular risks, children, lipid profile, obesity, and waist circumference
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