Public Health Nutrition


The double burden of malnutrition and cardiometabolic risk widens the gender and socio-economic health gap: a study among adults in Burkina Faso (West Africa)

Augustin N Zebaa1a2, Hélène F Delislea1 c1, Genevieve Reniera3, Boubacar Savadogoa2 and Banza Bayaa4

a1 Département de Nutrition, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, CP 6128 succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, H3C 3J7

a2 Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé/Direction Régionale de l'Ouest (IRSS/DRO), Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

a3 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal, Département de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

a4 Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP), Université de Ouagadougou, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


To document the double burden of malnutrition and cardiometabolic risk factors (CMRF) in adults and its occurrence according to different sociodemographic parameters.

Population-based cross-sectional observational study. We first randomly selected 330 households stratified by tertile of the income levels proxy as low, middle and high income.

Northern district of Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso.

In each income stratum, 110 individuals aged 25–60 years and who had lived permanently in Ouagadougou for at least 6 months were randomly selected, followed with collection of anthropometric, socio-economic and clinical data, and blood samples.

The overall obesity/overweight prevalence was 24·2 % and it was twice as high in women as in men (34·1 % v. 15·5 %, P < 0·001). Hypertension, hyperglycaemia and low HDL cholesterol prevalence was 21·9 %, 22·3 % and 30·0 %, respectively, without gender difference. The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 10·3 %. Iron depletion and vitamin A deficiency affected 15·7 % and 25·7 % of participants, respectively, with higher rates in women. Coexistence of at least one nutritional deficiency and one CMRF was observed in 23·5 % of participants, and this ‘double burden’ was significantly higher in women than in men (30·4 % v. 16·1 %, P = 0·008) and in the low income group.

CMRF are becoming a leading nutritional problem in adults of Ouagadougou, while nutritional deficiencies persist. The double nutritional burden exacerbates health inequities and calls for action addressing both malnutrition and nutrition-related chronic diseases.

(Received July 21 2011)

(Revised December 21 2011)

(Accepted February 03 2012)

(Online publication March 30 2012)


  • Nutritional deficiencies;
  • Non-communicable disease;
  • Double burden of malnutrition;
  • Adults;
  • Burkina Faso


c1 Corresponding author: Email