Aim: Medical team members are directly concerned with community health, and their wellbeing plays a key role in community well-being. We aimed to explore the association between anthropometric indices and cardiovascular risk factors in female nurses and determine the best cardiovascular risk predictor. Methods: Anthropometric measurements and cardiovascular risk factors were collected from a randomized sample of 138 female nurses aged 20-52 years employed in three hospitals in Zahedan in southeast Iran. Results: The prevalence of being overweight (25 ≤ BMI ≤ 29.9 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and central obesity in terms of WHpR ≥ 0.8, WHtR ≥ 0.49, and WC ≥ 88 cm was 31.9%, 12.3%, 76.1%, 61.6%, and 28.3% respectively. Abnormal BMI, WC, and WHtR was significantly associated with all cardiovascular risk factors including high TC, TG, LDL-C, HDL-C, LDL-C:HDL-C, and TC:HDL-C, while abnormal WHpR was only associated with hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and high TC:HDL-C ratio. Thus BMI was a superior predictor of elevated levels of TC, TG, HDL-C, LDL-C: HDL-C, and SBP, whereas abnormal TC: HDL-C and LDL-C were best indicated by WC and WHtR, respectively. Nevertheless, no anthropometric index was superior at distinguishing high FBS, fibrinogen, and DBP values. Conclusions: A considerable proportion of female nurses were overweight or obese. BMI was the strongest and most accurate predictor of most cardiovascular risk factors in this sample of Iranian female nurses. Our study underscores the need to perform large epidemiological studies targeting medical staff to determine a valuable and easily applicable indicator of cardiovascular risk factors and implement proper health promotion programs.
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