Prevalence and risk factors of elevated blood pressure, overweight, and dyslipidemia in adolescent and young adults in rural Nepal

Christine P. Stewart, Parul Christian, Lee S.F. Wu, Steven C. Leclerq, Subarna K. Khatry, Keith P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Chronic disease begins early in life, yet population data are sparse on potential causal factors in children and young adults in South Asia. Methods: We assessed risk factors for chronic disease in two population cohorts, aged 9-23 years, in rural Nepal. Assessed variables included short height (less than -2 z), high body mass index (BMI) (z>0.42), waist circumference (WC) >90 cm (male) or 80 cm (female) or age-adjusted child cutoff], high blood pressure (>120/80 mmHg), fasting glucose (≥100 mg/dL), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (>7%), blood lipids [triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and total cholesterol], diet, smoking, alcohol, and socioeconomic status (SES) factors. Results: The population was stunted (46%) and few were overweight (∼2%-4% with high BMI or WC). Twelve percent had high blood pressure. Plasma hypertriglyceridemia (≥150 mg/dL) affected ∼8.5%, and 78% had low HDL-C concentrations <40 mg/dL (male) or <50 mg/dL (female)], while few (≤3%) had elevated total cholesterol (≥180 mg/dL), glucose, and HbA1c. Females were at higher risk than males for high blood pressure [odds ratio (OR) 1.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-2.3] and overweight (4.2; 3.0-5.8), but had lower risk of dyslipidemia (0.7; 0.6-0.9). Ethnic plains Madheshi were less likely to be overweight (0.3; 0.2-0.4), but had greater risk of dyslipidemia (1.4; 1.1-1.7) versus those of Hill origin. Some dietary factors were significantly associated with high blood pressure or dyslipidemia, but not overweight. Conclusions: Dyslipidemia and high blood pressure are emerging health concerns among young adults in rural Nepal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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