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MetS in Asian Americans

Metabolic Syndrome in Asian Americans

  • In spite of the lower body mass index (BMI) values and lower prevalence of overweight/obesity than whites, Asian Americans have higher rates of metabolic syndrome (MS) over the range of BMI. For  A given BMI of 25-30 the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Asian Americans is double that of whites in men (43% vs 22%) and women (30% vs 12%). 1
  • Asian men and women with a BMI of 20 has a prevalence of MS comparable to whites with a BMI of 25 kg/m2.1 Comparison of MS features  among various Asian Americans is given in  Table 110 A.1

Table 110 A-Comparison of MS features among various Asian Indians1

White Asian Asian Indian Chinese Japanese Filipino Korean Vietnamese
Number 32,406 11,101 2,679 5,310 837 1,379 413 483
Age 57 50 46 51 56 50 47 48
Women % 58 58 46 60 68 65 68 64
BMI 27 25 26 24 24 27 24 24
Overweight BMI 25-30 % 49 43 53 50 42 74 37 37
Obesity BMI >30% 26 12 17 7 14 24 8 6
Overweight + Obesity (%) 75 55 70 57 56 98 45 43
TG >150 % 24 35 39 30 36 41 30 34
Low-HDL % 25 35 51 29 21 37 28 36
BS >100 or diabetes % 19 24 26 21 25 35 20 20
BP > >135/85 % 69 54 52 50 65 74 53 46

  

  • The prevalence of obesity (BMI 25–30) among Asians was lower than for whites, with the exceptions of Asian Indians and Filipinos.
  • The proportion of obese was about half for all Asian groups compared to whites with the exception of Filipinos using standard definition of obesity (BMI >30). Yet, diabetes, prediabetes, low HDL, and hypertriglyceridemia were all more common among Asians than whites.1 This data supports the lower BMI ranges by the Asia Pacific criteria for redefining  overweight (BMI 23-25) and obesity (BMI>25)  in Asian populations.1, 2See Metabolic Syndrome Criteria.

Sources

1. Palaniappan L P, Wong EC, Shin JJ, Fortmann SP, Lauderdale DS. Asian Americans have greater prevalence of metabolic syndrome despite lower body mass index. Int J Obes (Lond). Aug 3 2010.

2. WHO/IASO/ITO. Asia  Pacific Perspective:Redefing obesity and its treatment   World Health Organization, Western Pacific  Region;2000.

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