Meta-Analysis of a Systematic Review on Adult Obesity in Kuwait

Author: Ahmed Awad M Aldhahri

Aldhahri, Ahmed Awad M, 2017 Meta-Analysis of a Systematic Review on Adult Obesity in Kuwait, Flinders University, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics

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Background: There has been a continuous rise in obesity rates in global human populations and this has become a national health crisis in many nations in the Middle East, including Kuwait, which has an extremely high population of obese people. Several researchers have undertaken systematic reviews of factors leading to the prevalence of weight-related health issues in a number of developed countries, but such research on Kuwait is scarce. Objective: The key objective of this project is to conduct a meta-analysis on a systematic review of research on obesity in Kuwait with the use of retrospective research studies conducted on the incidence of obesity in Kuwait with emphasis on demographic factors. Methods: Using some keywords, the electronic databases of PubMed and Health Technology Assessment were searched, while Hindawi Publishing Corporation Journal of Obesity (publication dates 1990-2014), the Oxford Journal of Occupational Medicine (publication dates 1990-2014), Psychiatric Services Journal, Elsevier Diabetic Research and Clinical Practice (publication dates 1990-2014) were manually searched. As a result, eighteen studies were identified. Fixed and Random Effects Models were applied to the 18 studies. Tests of homogeneity were also performed. The presence of publication bias was assessed. The overall prevalence of obesity in Kuwait and the odds of developing obesity based on certain demographic factors was obtained. Additionally, year of publication, average age of samples, and minimum age were considered to account for extra variation between studies. Results: Eighteen studies were selected based on the selection criteria and analyses performed. The overall prevalence of obesity was estimated as 33.19% with very high heterogeneity among studies. Based on gender, the odds of obesity for the ‘old’ category estimated by the random and fixed effects models are 0.63 (p = 0.0769, 95% CI = 0.38 to 1.05) and 0.58 (p < 0.0001, 95% CI = 0.55 to 0.61) respectively. The odds of obesity in females is 1.25 when compared to the odds in males while the risk of obesity in females is 1.1 when compared to obesity risk in male. Year of publication, average age, and minimum age of studies were not able to account for this significant variation. Conclusions: The incidence of obesity across the adult population is relatively high at about 33,19% and is increasing. Females are at a higher risk of obesity than males. Older people are associated with higher risk of obesity than younger people, contrary to what one would viii expect due to a marked reduction in youth participation in physical activities as a result of increased availability of technology. The government of Kuwait and its health stakeholders should implement policies to reduce obesity. Future work should focus on meta-analysis of studies on obesity in the Middle East where obesity has become a pressing issue in nations such as the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.

Keywords: BMI, obesity, overweight, Kuwait, prevalence, trend, risk factor

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Supervisor: Dr. Darfiana Nur