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Modifiable Socio-Behavioural Factors Associated with Overweight and Hypertension among Persons Aged 35 to 60 Years in Eastern Uganda
Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda.
Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management, Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). (Internationell barnhälsa och nutrition/Persson)
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2012 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 7, no 10, e47632- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Few studies have examined the behavioural correlates of non-communicable, chronic disease risk in low-income countries. The objective of this study was to identify socio-behavioural characteristics associated with being overweight or being hypertensive in a low-income setting, so as to highlight possible interventions and target groups.


A population based survey was conducted in a Health and Demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) in eastern Uganda. 1656 individuals aged 35 to 60 years had their Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP) assessed. Seven lifestyle factors were also assessed, using a validated questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to identify socio-behavioural factors associated with being overweight or being hypertensive.


Prevalence of overweight was found to be 18% (25.2% of women; 9.7% of men; p<0.001) while prevalence of obesity was 5.3% (8.3% of women; 2.2% of men). The prevalence of hypertension was 20.5%. Factors associated with being overweight included being female (OR 3.7; 95% CI 2.69-5.08), peri-urban residence (OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.46-3.01), higher socio-economic status (OR 4.1; 95% CI 2.40-6.98), and increasing age (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.12-2.79). Those who met the recommended minimum physical activity level, and those with moderate dietary diversity were less likely to be overweight (OR 0.5; 95% CI 0.35-0.65 and OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.49-3.01). Factors associated with being hypertensive included peri-urban residence (OR 2.4; 95%CI 1.60-3.66), increasing age (OR 4.5; 95% CI 2.94-6.96) and being over-weight (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.98-3.98). Overweight persons in rural areas were significantly more likely to be hypertensive than those in peri-urban areas (p = 0.013).


Being overweight in low-income settings is associated with sex, physical activity and dietary diversity and being hypertensive is associated with being overweight; these factors are modifiable. There is need for context-specific health education addressing disparities in lifestyles at community levels in rural Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 7, no 10, e47632- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-185518DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047632ISI: 000309995100147PubMedID: 23077653OAI: diva2:571949
Available from: 2012-11-26 Created: 2012-11-26 Last updated: 2012-12-03Bibliographically approved

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