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Patterns of Calcium- and Chloride-Ion Disorders and Predictors among Obese Outpatient Adults in Southern Ethiopia

Authors Timerga A, Haile K

Received 18 January 2021

Accepted for publication 9 March 2021

Published 23 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1349—1358


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou

Abebe Timerga,1 Kassahun Haile2

1Department of Biomedical Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopia; 2Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wolkite University, Wolkite, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Abebe Timerga
Department of Biomedical Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wolkite University, PO Box 07, Wolkite, Ethiopia
Tel +251 92 059-2604
Fax +251 11 322 0041
Email [email protected]

Background: Obesity is a condition characterized by abnormal or excess accumulation of fat in body tissue, which may impair health and result in electrolyte derangement. Hypercalcemia and hypochloremia are significant problems in obese patients, and can cause substantial morbidity and mortality. Determination of patterns of calcium and chloride may play a major role in the management of obese patients. Therefore, this study aimed to determine calcium and chloride disorders and their predictors among obese adults in the outpatient department at Wolkite University Specialized Hospital, southern Ethiopia from May to August 2020.
Methods: This institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 250 obese adults attending the outpatient department from May to August 2020. Structured questionnaires through face-to-face interviews and participants’ medical records were used to collect information on determinants related to calcium- and chloride-ion disturbances. Levels of serum calcium and chloride were measured using an ion-selective electrode analyzer. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were done to identify determinants associated with calcium and chloride disorders. Using ORs and 95% CIs,P< 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Among the 250 patients, 18% (95% CI 53.02– 111) and 17.6% (95% CI 0.78– 12) of study participants were hypochloremic and hypercalcemic, respectively. Age ≥ 50 years (AOR 3.58, 95% CI 2.57– 11.10), diuretic use (AOR 2.35, 95% CI 1.31– 4.23), and obesity (AOR, 6.82, 95% CI 2.26– 14.62) were independent predictors of hypochloremia on multivariate logistic regression, and obesity (AOR 9.21, 95% CI 2.50– 14.81), overweight (AOR 8.32, 95% CI 1.61– 10.20) and physical inactivity (AOR 4.28, 95% CI 1.71– 10.44) were predictors of hypercalcemia.
Conclusion: High burdens of hypochloremia (18%) and hypercalcemia (17.6%) were observed in these patients. Increased age, diuretic use, being overweight, and physical inactivity were predictors of electrolyte disorders. The findings of this study should be taken into consideration to implement preventive interventions on these predictors in obese patients. Promoting sufficient fruit and vegetable consumption and physical exercise and determination of serum-chloride and -calcium levels in adult overweight/obese patients are recommended to minimize the emergence of electrolyte disorders.

Keywords: obesity, hypochloremia, hypercalcemia, southern Ethiopia

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