The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is increasing in Ethiopia. This study aims to describe the prevalence of NCD risk factors of public employees in a regional city in northern Ethiopia. We conducted a cross-sectional epidemiological study targeting men and women aged 25-64 years employed by public offices in Mekelle. The prevalence was age-standardized to the Ethiopian 2007 population. Among the 1380 subjects (823 men and 557 women), 68.7% had less than 1 serving of fruits and vegetables per day, 41.0% were physically inactive, and 57.3% observed religious fast. The age-standardised prevalence of abdominal obesity was 29.3% in men and 58.5% in women, but that of metabolic syndrome was comparable between men (39.2%) and women (39.0%). The prevalence of diabetes was underestimated if only fasting blood glucose (FBG) was used for the diagnosis compared to combination of FBG and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (6.7% in men and 3.8% in women vs. 12.1% in men and 5.6% in women). More than a quarter (26.1%) of men and 8.7% of women had estimated 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease of 10% or more. This study revealed the high prevalence of NCD metabolic risk factors among the urban public employees in the highland of Ethiopia.
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