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Smoking, Physical Inactivity and Obesity among Adult Omanis, Sur, 2001.


The Sultanate of Oman witnesses an epidemiological change in disease pattern due to economic development and control measures towards communicable diseases. Subsequently communicable diseases have declined to low level and non-communicable diseases have started to emerge. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence smoking, leisure time physical activity, and obesity being the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases among adult Omanis in Sur Wilaya.


This is a cross sectional, community-based survey. The study population was adult Omanis in Sur Wilaya aged over 20 years. A sample size of 1889 was determined to be sufficient for conduction of the study. Through cluster sampling, nine clusters were selected each representing one Census Enumeration Area (CEA) of 100 households. Data was collected through personal interview using a pre-designed and tested questionnaire. Leisure time physical activity was classified into active and sedentary, and calculated BMI was classified into pre-obese and obese. Chi-square (X2) was used to identify differences in proportions between the studied variables at 95% level of significant. All variables with a P-value < 0.1 in crude analysis were included in multivariate logistic regression analysis to control the effect of cofounders.


The total study population was 1930 subjects, 1079 (55.9%) females and 851 (44.1%) males. The overall mean age was 35.8 ±14.27 years. The overall prevalence of current smoking was 29.4% for males and 3.9% for females. The risk of smoking was higher among males, age above 50 years, low education level and in the presence of other smokers in the family. The overall prevalence of sedentary activity was 59.0% in males and 87.1% in females. The risk of sedentary activity was higher in females and married subjects and it increased with age. The prevalence of obesity was 11.8% in males and 26.7% in females. The risk of obesity was higher among urban inhabitants, and increased with age, peaking at the age of 49 years. The risk of obesity was higher among subjects who never smoked, and those who perceived their obesity and those who reported suffering from one or more of the following diseases: diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease.


Individuals should be encouraged to engage in exercise programs during leisure time. Antismoking campaigns must receive more attention, not only targeting young age groups but older audiences as well. Health education programs related to awareness of appropriate body weight should be intensified.