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Open Access Short Report

Epidemiology of underweight and overweight-obesity among term pregnant Sudanese women

Duria A Rayis1, Ameer O Abbaker1, Yasir Salih1, Tayseer E Diab2 and Ishag Adam1*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

2 Faculty of Medicine, Elneileen University, Khartoum, Sudan

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:327  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-327

Published: 6 December 2010

Abstract

Background

The increasing prevalence of obesity in young women is a major public health concern. Few data are available concerning the epidemiology of malnutrition especially obesity among pregnant women in the developing countries. A cross sectional study was conducted at Khartoum hospital during February-April 2008, to investigate prevalence of underweight, obesity, and to identify contemporary socio-demographic predictors for obesity among term pregnant women in Khartoum Hospital, Sudan. After taking an informed consent, a structured questionnaire was administered to each woman to gather information on educational level, age and parity. Maternal weight and height were measured and expressed as body mass index (BMI - weight (kg)/height (m) 2).

Findings

Out of 1690 term pregnant women, 628 (37.1%) were primigravidae, 926 (54.8%) had ≥ secondary educational level (minimum of 8 years) and 1445 (85.5%) were housewives. The mean (SD) of the age and parity were 27.2 (6.3) years and 2.0 (2.1) respectively. Out of these 1690 women, 94(5.5%) were underweight (BMI of ≤ 19.9 Kg/m2), 603 (35.6%) were overweight (BMI of 25 - 29.9 Kg/m2) and 328 (19.4%) were obese (BMI of ≥ 30 Kg/m2).

In multivariate analyses, obesity was positively associated with age (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 1.0-1.1; P< 0.001), and with women's education (OR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.2-2.7; P = 0.001). Obesity was positively associated with parity in univariate analyses only (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 1.0-1.2; P = 0.02)

Conclusion

The high prevalence of obesity in these pregnant women represents a competing public health problem in Sudan. More research is needed.