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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1670-1680; doi:10.3390/ijerph7041670
Article

Obesity in Tibetans Aged 30–70 Living at Different Altitudes under the North and South Faces of Mt. Everest

1,6,* , 2
,
1,3
,
4
,
5
 and
1,2
1 Section for Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, University of Oslo, Frederik Holsts hus, Ulleval terrasse, Kirkeveien 166, 0450 Oslo, Norway 2 Tibet University Medical College, No.1 Loubulinka Road, Lhasa, Xizang 850002, China 3 National Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway 4 Epidemiology Unit, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand 5 Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway 6 Nepal Institute of Health Sciences affiliated to Purbanchal University, Kathmandu, Nepal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 March 2010 / Revised: 8 April 2010 / Accepted: 9 April 2010 / Published: 13 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)
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Abstract

Risk factors for chronic diseases in Tibetans may be modified due to hypobaric hypoxia. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of obesity at varying altitudes of 1,200, 2,900 and 3,700 meters above sea-level in Tibet and Nepal; to estimate the effect of altitude on body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). Three cross-sectional studies with simple random sampling were performed on 617 men and women. BMI, WC and WHtR decreased with increasing altitude. It is likely that the physical conditions such as low temperatures and low oxygen levels have a direct catabolic effect.
Keywords: obesity; WHtR; BMI; waist circumference; Tibetans; Tibet; Everest; Nepal obesity; WHtR; BMI; waist circumference; Tibetans; Tibet; Everest; Nepal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Sherpa, L.Y.; Deji; Stigum, H.; Chongsuvivatwong, V.; Thelle, D.S.; Bjertness, E. Obesity in Tibetans Aged 30–70 Living at Different Altitudes under the North and South Faces of Mt. Everest. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 1670-1680.

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