Obesity is defined as a condition of energy metabolism characterized by irregular fat accumulation and excessive visceral fat deposition which is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular illnesses (1). It is a major public health problem in both developed and developing countries affecting all ages, genders, and being linked to a number of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and cancer(2-4).
Obesity in the abdomen is linked to higher risk of morbidity, disability, poor quality of life, mortality, and higher health-care expenses (5-8).The prevalence of elevated WC(waist circumference) in adults has been demonstrated to be independently risk factors for metabolic syndrome, like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and other non-communicable diseases. In adults, studies have reported a higher association between waist circumference and these anomalies than with BMI (Body Mass Index)(9)
In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 and above were overweight and over 650 million of them were fat. Furthermore, 39% of adults aged 18 and above were overweight, with 13% being obese (10).
To evaluate body fatness, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), skin fold thickness, and bio-impedance were used to classify obesity as overweight, general obesity, abdominal obesity (AO), visceral fat obesity (VFO), and other forms. The most common variables used to identify these were BMI and waist circumference (WC) (11). In comparison to other anthropometric indicators, abdominal fat assessment is one of the best predictors of visceral fat, which is significantly linked with most metabolic risk factors(12).
The waist circumference (WC) measurement has been described as a better tool for assessing body fat distribution, especially abdominal visceral adiposity, which has been linked to a variety of non-communicable diseases.In a clinical or epidemiological setting, measuring WC is also a faster and less expensive way to determine visceral fat than other gold standard methods like computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging(9).
Despite the fact that studies on central obesity in Africa are few, recent research has revealed an unprecedented rise in central obesity prevalence(3).According to the estimate of WHO, in 2014 1.2% ofmen and 6.0% of females were either overweight or obese in Ethiopia. Between 1997 and 2016, the combined prevalence in the country grew considerably from2.6 to 6.9% in females and, from 0.6 to 1.9% in males(13).
Similarly, in Ethiopia study done in 2015 reported that the prevalence of overweight and obese people in urban areas was 12.1% and 2.8 percent, respectively (5).The prevalence of central obesity among women was found to be 27.9% and 86.9%, respectively, in a recent study conducted in woldia and urban areas of Northwest Ethiopia(14, 15). So this study aimed to assess the prevalence and associated risk factors of abdominal obesity among women civil servant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
From the data of 2018 World Health Organization, the NCDs Country Profiles of Ethiopia was estimated that the deaths from CVDs, cancers, diabetes, others NCDs were 16%, 7%, 2%, 12% respectively and the total estimated deaths from NCDs was 39% of all deaths (16). The incidence of obesity and central obesity is rising in Ethiopia, as shown here, and the percentage of deaths from non-communicable disease is also rising. These deaths, as reported in few studies were may be an indicator of central obesity in Ethiopia at present.
According EDHS 2016 the proportion of women who were overweight or obese had increased from 3% in 2000 to 8% in 2016 and the proportion of men who were obese were found to be 3% (17).Even thought there are no well documented national data and studies on central obesity, there are few studies done on central obesity in different part of Ethiopia, which revealed that the prevalence of central obesity is currently increasing. For instance, according to study done in Dilla, Gonder, Diredawa, urban areas of Northwest Ethiopia, the prevalence of central obesity found to be 24.4%, 33.6%, 46.6%, 37.6%, respectively(15, 18-20).
However evidences are not available particularly for civil servant women in Ethiopia. Therefore,the aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and associated risk factors of abdominal obesity among civil servant women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2021.