Association between body composition and khat chewing in Ethiopian adults.

Research paper by Tsinuel T Girma, Andualem A Mossie, Yesufe Y Getu

Indexed on: 19 Nov '15Published on: 19 Nov '15Published in: BMC Research Notes


Khat (Catha edulis Forsk) is a psychostimulant herb widely cultivated and used in Ethiopia. The link between khat use and body composition is little known.The aim was to determine the association between body composition and khat use.We recruited 415 individuals 18-78 years of age from Jimma Town. Sociodemographic and lifestyle data were collected using structured questionnaires. Fat mass (FM, kg) and fat-free mass (FFM, kg) were estimated from whole-body bio impedance. Weight (kg), FM and FFM were indexed to height (m) as BMI (kg/m(2)), fat mass index (FMI) (kg/m) and fat-free mass index (FFMI) (kg/m), respectively. Independent predictors of BMI, FMI and FFMI were identified using regression analysis.Participants' mean ± SD of age was 37 ± 13 years and 205 (53.2 %) were males. Mean ± SD of BMI, FMI and FFMI were 21.0 kg/m(2) ± 4.1, 6.8 kg/m ± 5.2 and 27.9 kg/m ± 3.8, respectively. Multivariable model showed that, compared with non-chewers, khat chewers had a lower BMI (B = -1.56, 95 % CI -0.78, -2.33) and FMI (B = 2.19, 95 % CI -1.32, -3.06). FMI was lower in cigarette smokers than non-smokers by -1.36 kg/m (95 % CI -0.23, -2.49). Concurrently, khat and cigarette users increased FMI by 2.78 (95 % CI 0.11, 5.44). FFMI decreased with age (B = -0.02, 95 % CI -0.05, -0.002).FMI and BMI were lower in khat users than non-users, but there was no difference in lean mass. The consequence of this body composition change should be investigated.