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Abstract

Hypertension is a major public health burden in Bangladesh. However, studies considering the underlying multifaceted risk factors of this health condition are sparse. The present study concurrently examines anthropometric parameters and intermediary factors influencing hypertension risk in Bangladesh. Using the 2018 World Health Organisation (WHO) STEPwise approach to non-communicable disease risk factor surveillance (STEPS) study conducted in Bangladesh and involving 8019 nationally representative adult respondents, bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the association between anthropometrics, other intermediary factors and hypertension. The regression results were presented using the odds ratio (OR) and adjusted odds ratio (AOR) at 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The risk of hypertension was higher among females and males who were 40 years and older. However, among females, those who were age 60 years and older were more than twice and thrice more likely to be hypertensive compared to those in the younger age groups (18–39, 40–59). Females who were obese (body mass index [BMI], waist to hip ratio [WHR], waist to height ratio [WHtR]) or had high waist circumference [WC] were twice as likely to be hypertensive. Males and females who were physically active, consuming more fruits and vegetables daily and educated had lower odds of developing hypertension. Key findings suggest that the association between anthropometric indices (body mass index [BMI], waist to hip ratio [WHR], waist to height ratio [WHtR]), waist circumference [WC]), other intermediary determinants (e.g., education, physical activity) and hypertension exist across gender and with increasing age among adults in Bangladesh. Developing appropriate public health interventions (e.g., regular assessment of anthropometric parameters) for early identification of the risk and pattern of hypertension through appropriate screening and diagnosis is required to meet the specific health needs of the adult Bangladesh population.