Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Dyslipidemia in Middle-Aged Women

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Dyslipidemia in Middle-Aged Women

Article excerpt


Background: Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death throughout the world. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of overweight/obesity, central obesity, hypertension and dyslipidemia, as well as dietary factors contributing to the development of dyslipidemia among middle-aged women.

Methods: The research design of the present study was a population-based cross-sectional study; anthropometric measures and blood chemistry were obtained. Physical activity was measured using the original International Physical Activity Questionnaires Long Form while food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used in assessing individual's habitual intake. Overall, 809 women, 30-50 years of age from fourteen active urban Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC) in Babol City, northern Iran, were obtained from 1,905 households across operational areas of 14 PHC using systematic random sampling method.

Results: The prevalence rates of women classified as overweight/obese, with central obesity, hypertension and dyslipidemia were 82.8%, 75.5%, 14.6% and 63.4%, respectively. Total physical activity did not correlate with cholesterol ratio. Soybean protein was inversely associated with cholesterol ratio (rho=-0.18, Pā‰¤ 0.001). The adjusted OR for dyslipidemia in women with moderate protein intake was significantly higher than in women with high and low intake (OR=2.31; 95% CI= 1.61, 3.30). No significant associations were found between dyslipidemia and carbohydrate, fat intake or physical activity.

Conclusion: This study showed very high prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among Iranian middle-aged women. A more detailed study is suggested to develop definitively recommendations for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease for the Iranian population.

Keywords: Nutrition, Physical activity, Dyslipidemia, Women's health


Cardiovascular disease is recognized as the most common cause of death worldwide (1). Overweight/ obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and other manifestations are major risk factors (2). Improved long-term outcomes have been attained as a result of physicians' recommendations for dietary practices and physical activity that lead to several favorable parameters such as a healthier waist circumference and improved body mass index, lower blood pressure, improved HDLcholesterol, and triglyceride levels (3). HDLcholesterol is protective against cardiovascular disease and decreases cardiovascular morbidity and mortality (4). A meta-analysis has shown that glucose and lipid metabolism are strongly related and a high carbohydrate diet, which contributes to disorders of glucose metabolism, increase plasma triglycerides and decrease in HDLcholesterol (5).

It is suggested that local eating habits, lifestyle patterns and consumption of high caloric foods are predisposing factors of obesity. Babolian women have access to a diet that is rich in carbohydrate (rice) (6). A diet high in carbohydrates has been associated with overeating and the risk of obesity. Some researchers reported the effects of high carbohydrate consumption on being overweight in which triglyceride concentrations appear to be greater in men than women (7, 8). The occurrence of obesity and other cardiovascular disease risk factors have not been extensively examined, particularly among Iranian middle-aged women. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of overweight/obesity, central obesity, and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, namely high blood pressure and dyslipidemia among middle-aged women. Finally, we investigated the relationship of physical activity and nutrition with dyslipidemia.

Materials and Methods

This study was conducted with the approval of the Medical Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and Babol University of Medical Sciences approved the study. Written informed consent was obtained from the participants. ā€¦

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