Objective: High blood pressure and diabetes mellitus account for over 50% of annual visits to health facilities in Trinidad and Tobago. This study investigates the ability of various absolute and relative body composition variables to predict elevated fasting blood sugar (FBS) and blood pressure (BP).
Subjects and Methods: Participants had overnight fasting finger-stick blood glucose analysed with a hand-held automated glucometer (Basic One-touch Ultra). Two blood pressure tests were taken on the right arm after ten minutes of rest in the sitting position using an automated blood pressure (Omron HEM 712C). Participation in the study was voluntary. Waist, height and weight circumferences were measured using standard procedure. Percentage body fat (%BF) was measured with a foot-to-foot bioelectric body fat analyser (Tanita UM026).
Results: One hundred and fifty-seven persons (90 females and 67 males) participated in the investigation. Approximately 23% of participants had BP, FBS and waist circumference levels that were above recommended cut-offs. In correlation, analyses controlling for ethnicity and age-adjusted FBS were significantly positively correlated with waist circumference, BMI, weight, fat mass and %BF. Receiveroperator curve analyses suggest that cut-off values based on BMI, waist circumference and waist-height ratio were significant predictors of elevated FBS among females while those based on waist circumference and %BF were significant predictors of elevated FBS among males.
Conclusion: The findings suggest similar predictive ability among the various absolute and relative body composition measures in predicting FBS and BP.