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Objective: Hypertension is on the rise in Ghana, necessitating rapid and early diagnosis for better patient care. Anthropometric indices such as body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HP), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) may reflect obesity related conditions. However, cut off values for these indictors of hypertension are lacking. The study aims to establish cut off values for such anthropometric indices in order to timely predict hypertension among adult Ghanaians.
Design, Setting and Participants: This was a cross-sectional study among apparently healthy adult Ghanaians domiciled within the Kumasi metropolis of the Ashanti region.
Methodology: Participants anthropometric measurements were used to determine their BMI, WHR and WHtR. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures were also measured and used to determine hypertension among participants. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted to determine the anthropometric indices that accurately predict hypertension in the study.
Results: The prevalence of hypertension was 35.4% which did not differ by gender (p=0.590). WHtR, WC and BMI consistently showed the better area under the curve values for both genders, suggesting their increased potential to screen hypertension compared to WHR and HP. The WHtR, WC and BMI cut-off values for classifying hypertension in males were 46.0 cm, 80.0 cm and 23.1 kg/m2 respectively while that of females were 50.2 cm, 81.7 cm and 26.3 kg/m2 respectively.
Conclusion: These cut off values correctly classified more than 70% hypertensives with high sensitivity and specificity. WHtR, WC and BMI have shown to be better screening tools for hypertension.