Objective: To estimate the prevalence of obesity among adult surgical patients in Tobago.
Methods: Patients aged 18 years and over who had surgery at the Scarborough General Hospital were studied. Demographic data of age, gender, weight and height were collected from the anaesthesia records. Obesity was assessed using body mass index (BMI) calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres (kg/m2). The WHO classification was used with obesity defined as BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, overweight as BMI ≥ 25–29.9, and normal weight as BMI ≥ 18.5–24.9.
Results: Data from 799 patients (214 [26.8%] male and 585 [73.2%] female) were analysed. They had a mean age ±standard deviation (SD) of 44.5 ±15 years, median age of 42 years and a range of 18–97 years. Their mean BMI ± SD was 30.6 ± 8.15 (male 27.6 ±7 and female 31.7 ± 8.3). Two percent were underweight, 21% were normal weight, 32% were overweight and 45% were obese. A greater proportion of females were in the higher BMI categories compared with males. More than half of the females were obese (52%) compared to just over a third of the males (26%).
Conclusion: Overweight and obesity are common among adult surgical patients in Tobago and the prevalence is higher in females.