Prevalence of Selected Risk Factors for Cardiometabolic Disease among University Staff in the Western Cape, South Africa

Sunday O. Onagbiye1, *, Gareth Smithdorf1, Achmat Ghaleelullah1, Barry Andrews1, Marie Young1, Susan H. Bassett1, Lloyd L. Leach1, Andre Travill1
1 Department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa

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© 2021 Onagbiye et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Sport, Recreation & Exercise Sc., University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa;
Tel: +27604840456; E-mail:



This study aimed to determine the prevalence of selected risk factors for cardiometabolic disease among university staff at the University in the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. The secondary objective was to examine the association between the indicators of obesity and CMD risk factors.


A total of 73 (men = 20 (27.4%); women = 53 (72.6%)) healthy university staff members, which include academics, administrators, and support staff, with a mean age of 39.2 years partook in the study. Anthropometric and physiological variables were assessed and analysed.


The categorisation of body mass index showed that 35% and 45.3% of men and women were obese, respectively. The prevalence of central obesity and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) showed that 25% of men and 60.4% of women were at a high risk of developing a CMD, while 25% and 71.7% of men and women were at high risk for waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), respectively. The prevalence of hypertension revealed that 35% and 20.8%, 5% and 17%, and 15% and 9.4% of men and women had elevated hypertension (stage I) and hypertension (stage II) status, respectively. Furthermore, 25% and 35.8%, and 5% and 11.3% of men and women were pre-diabetic and diabetic, respectively, while for total cholesterol levels, 40% and 34%, and 15% and 15.1% of men and women were at borderline high and high risk, respectively.


There was a high prevalence of selected cardiometabolic disease risk factors among university staff that requires urgent intervention. Lifestyle modification, weight management, and wellness programmes focusing on health education, regular physical activity participation, and a healthy diet should be prioritized.

Keywords: CMD risks factor, Workforce, University, Wellness, Disease, Hypertension.