Epidemiology and Genetic Correlates of Obesity Among a Rural Population of the Northern Cape Province, South Africa
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In the past several decades, obesity has become a global issue, presenting significant consequences for individual health and the global economy. South Africa, like many developing nations, is experiencing rapid increases in BMI, particularly among urban populations. In this study, we analyzed the epidemiology of obesity of a multi-ethnic cohort from the rural Northern Cape of South Africa to determine if similar increases in BMI are occurring in rural areas of the country. We collected this data as part of a TB case-control study, with 435 healthy control participants included in our final sample. Linear models of BMI were generated using sex, age, education level, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diabetes as predictor variables. We also calculated odds ratios to understand the direct impact of epidemiological factors on risk of obesity. This was followed by a genome-wide association study to detect any single nucleotide polymorphisms correlated with obesity in this population.