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A Journal on Internal Medicine
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Panminerva Medica 1998 March;40(1):22-7
Many factors can affect the prevalence of hypertension in obese patients: role of cuff size and type of obesity
Guagnano M. T., Pace Palitti V., Murri R., Marchione L., Merlitti D., Sensi S.
From the Institute of Internal Medicine University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
Objective. To determine to what extent methodological errors, including measurements taken with inappropriate cuffs and/or inaccuracies in patient enrollment, can contribute to overestimating the prevalence of hypertension in overweight or obese women.
Experimental design. Randomized and comparative investigation in overweight or obese outpatient women of the Obesity Clinic, Internal Medicine Institute, Chieti University.
Patients. In 1,791 overweight or obese women, randomly selected and stratified by age (41-60 years), blood pressure (BP) was taken with casual measurement in the morning. The entire study group was divided into two subgroups. In the first one, casual BP was measured with a standard-size cuff (RCS), while an appropriate large-size cuff was used for the second one (LCS). Patients of the latter subgroup were also divided by type of obesity (android and gynoid), based on their waist-to-hip ratio.
Results. In the LCS subgroup, the hypertension prevalence rate was strikingly lower among overweight and obese women, as well as in the younger and older age groups, when compared with the corresponding RCS subgroups (p<0.001). The hypertension prevalence rate was higher for all android obese subjects (53%), including younger (34%) and older (64%) groups, when compared with gynoid obese patients (29%, 18% and 42%, respectively).
Conclusions. A comparison of different reports on the prevalence of hypertension in obesity reveals considerable differences, due mainly to age, sex, race and income level. Nevertheless, our data seem to indicate that even after adjusting for the above-mentioned variables, two significant confounding factors, cuff hypertension and the prevalence of android obesity in the obese study population, could be responsible for overestimating the prevalence of hypertension. It should be noted that for certain groups of overweight and obese women, the prevalence of hypertension becomes similar to the rate found among the general population, as reported in many large epidemiological surveys.