Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Nutritionist, Assistant Professor, Ischemic Disorders Research Center, School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

2 Cardiologist, Assistant Professor, Ischemic Disorders Research Center, School of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

3 Student, Student Research Committee, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran


BACKGROUND: Central obesity is a common health disorder, and the main objective of this study was to compare its changings among rural women in the north of Iran, between the years 2004 and 2013. METHODS: Two cross-sectional studies were established on the 2839 and 2478 subjects in 2004 (first stage) and 2013 (second stage), respectively. Among 118 villages, 20 were selected using random sampling; they were the same in two studies. Central obesity was defined as waist circumference (WC) > 88 cm, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) > 0.8, and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) > 0.5.RESULTS: The prevalence of central obesity in 2013 based on WC, WHR, and WHtR were 37.4%, 73.5%, and 67.8%, respectively. Compared with 2004, the prevalence of central obesity based on WHR increased as 5.4% (68.1% vs. 73.5%) (P = 0.001), whereas morbid obesity (WHtR > 0.6) based on WHtR decreased as 3.7% in 2013 (28.8% vs. 25.1%) (P = 0.004). Central obesity based on WHR significantly decreased in less or equal 24-year-old group (76.6% vs. 70.1%) (P = 0.003), while it increased in 25-34- (65.1% vs. 74.0%) and in equal or more than 35-year-old group (54.1% vs. 78.9%) (P = 0.001 for all). Moreover, morbid obesity decreased in all age, economic, and education groups (except uneducated one) (P < 0.050 for all). CONCLUSION: Despite the decrease in central obesity based on WC and WHR indices in 2004-2013 duration, we found the evidence of a decline in sever obesity based on WHtR in that period. These trends have an alarm for health policy makers, not only in this area but also in same communities. Comprehensive studies are recommended to determine the best obesity indicator related to health in future. 


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