1. bookVolume 84 (2021): Issue 2 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
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Journal
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Body fat patterning and blood pressure levels: a comparative study between the Rai and the Lepcha in Sikkim

Published Online: 01 Jul 2021
Page range: 133 - 149
Received: 23 Mar 2021
Accepted: 13 May 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

We compared the perception of two ethnic groups in relation to health, obesity and blood pressure problems and its management, and to compare the body fat patterning and blood pressure levels between Rai and Lepcha ethnic groups. We chose Rai and Lepcha ethnic groups living in Ranka, a place which is 16 kilometres away from the city of Gangtok, Sikkim. The study involved 160 males (Rai = 80 and Lepcha = 80) of age 25–35 years. The participants were initially interviewed about their perception towards health, obesity and blood pressure problems and its management along with other socio-demographic and lifestyle variables. Later, body fat patterning and blood pressure levels of the participants were measured and compared between these two groups. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to understand the association of body fat patterning and blood pressure levels with socio-demographic and lifestyle variables. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to examine the relationship of ethnicity with both body fat patterning and blood pressure levels. We found a noticeable difference between Lepcha and Rai ethnic groups in perception towards health and obesity, blood pressure problems and its management. Similarly, a significant difference was observed in body fat patterning and blood pressure levels between Rai and Lepcha participants. MANCOVA revealed that the measures of body fat pattering and blood pressure levels differed significantly between these two ethnic groups, after controlling for lifestyle variables and age of the participants at time of interview. We concluded that there remains ethnic diversity, embedded in cultural behaviours and practices concerning health and obesity, hypertension and associated lifestyle patterns. Such practices, rooted in the belief system of an ethnic group is likely to inform the health condition of group members.

Keywords

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