Prevalence of the Risk Factors for Cardio-Metabolic Disease Among Fire-Fighters in the Western Cape Province of South Africa
Cardio-metabolic disease risks factor have reached an epidemic, with many people at risk of premature disability and death. There are insufficient data regarding the prevalence of the risk factors for cardio-metabolic diseases among fire fighters in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of cardio-metabolic risks factors among South African fire fighters in the Western Cape Province; determine relationships between the BMI and risks factor for cardio-metabolic diseases as well as determining which of the cardio-metabolic disease risk factors is with the highest prediction power among the fire fighters in the Western Cape Province. Height, weight, and circumference of waist and hip were assessed in line with the practice of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropmetry (ISAK) (2006). Physiological measurements of blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and cholesterol were also assessed. Of the total number of the fire-fighters, 42.5% were obese, 17.4% were overweight, 39.7% had normal BMI, while only 0.5% were underweight. The larger percentage (45.7%) of the participants were systolically pre-hypertensive while 14.2% were hypertensive. Furthermore, almost forty percent (39.3%) were pre-diabetic, 18.3 % were diabetic, while only 1.4% were having blood sugar which was below normal level. In terms of the cholesterol levels, 45.7% were normal, 38.8% were already at the borderline high while 15.5% were high. Majority (51.1%) of the participant reported non-participation in physical activity while only 49.9% participates in physical activity. there was a statistically significant relationship between the BMI and WHR (r= 0.296; p < 0.01), SBP (r= 0.346; p < 0.01), and DBP (r= 0.330; p < 0.01) of the participants. Also, BMI significantly positively correlated with glucose (r= 0.247; p < 0.01), and cholesterol (r= 0.156; p < 0.05). The BMI was also found to be significantly positively correlated with the circumference of the waist and hip (r= 0.699; p < 0.01) and SBP (r= 0.711; p < 0.01) respectively. In the backward regression model analysis, the model with bodyweight, WHR, and SBP (model 4) was the best of all possible models since it had the highest value of adjusted R square which represents the amount of variance (35%) in the BMI predicted by the model. Bodyweight, WHR, and SBP were significant predictors of cardio-metabolic disease risks factor among fire fighters in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.
Keywords - Fire-Fighters, BMI, Regression, South Africa.