Pre-morbid cardiometabolic risks among South Africans living in informal settlements

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Aim: Numerous studies have been conducted on cardiometabolic risk factors in South Africa. However, not much has been done in informal settlement populations faced with their own set of health risks. This study screened for pre-morbid cardiometabolic risks and associated factors among adults living in informal settlements in South Africa. Methods: A cross-sectional study used the WHO STEPwise questionnaire to collect data on demography, anthropometry, blood pressure, and glucose and cholesterol levels (n = 329). Cardiometabolic risks were based on the criteria considered by the International Diabetes Federation and the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. Data were analysed using STATA 14. Results: The median age of the participants was 35 (25–42) years. Cardiometabolic risk factors among the participants were hypertension (66%), overweight/obesity (45%), abdominal obesity (46%), and elevated cholesterol (15%) and glucose levels (7%). The metabolic syndrome was found in 17% of the participants, with a high prevalence observed among participants aged 35–59 years (28%) and ≥ 60 years (40%). The metabolic syndrome was significantly associated with gender [males, adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.20–0.90] and age, 35–59 years (AOR = 5.07, 95% CI: 2.24–11.23) and ≥ 60 years (AOR = 6.57, 95% CI; 1.57–27.54). Conclusion: Prevalent cardiometabolic risk factors in informal settlements indicate the need for routine screening for all the components of the metabolic syndrome at the primary healthcare level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Journal of Africa
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • South Africa
  • cardiometabolic risks
  • informal settlements
  • metabolic syndrome


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