Cardiometabolic Disease Common in Chinese Adults of Healthy Weight
Cardiometabolic disease is prevalent in Chinese adults, even those who are not overweight, according to a research letter published Sept. 26 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
In the China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study, Xuhong Hou, MD, PhD, and colleagues examined 45,093 participants aged 20 years and older with complete metabolic index. Mild-to-moderate cardiometabolic disease included one or two of the following risk factors: central obesity (waist circumference ≥90 cm in men and ≥85 cm in women); elevated triglycerides; reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; and elevated blood pressure. Severe cardiometabolic disease included pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, or cardiovascular disease.
The proportions were weighed on the basis of the 2006 Chinese population structure. About 20.9 percent of the total population were of normal weight and had no cardiometabolic disease (192.6 million adults); 26.6 percent were of normal weight, but had mild-to-moderate cardiometabolic disease (245.2 million adults); 19.6 percent were of normal weight, but had severe cardiometabolic disease (180.5 million adults); 1.9 percent were overweight or obese, but had no cardiometabolic disease (17.6 million adults); 10.4 percent were overweight or obese and had mild-to-moderate cardiometabolic disease (96.1 million adults); and 20.7 percent were overweight or obese and had severe cardiometabolic disease (190.5 million adults).
The researchers found a much lower proportion of metabolically healthy overweight or obesity (1.9 percent) and a higher proportion of metabolically unhealthy normal weight (46.2 percent) compared with that in previous studies with white populations. The authors explain that the two reasons for this are that the study used a strict criterion of cardiometabolic disease for metabolic health, and Chinese adults have a higher risk of cardiometabolic disease than their white counterparts at a given body mass index (BMI) cutoff. However, the authors add, as a cross-sectional study, a low BMI may be caused by pre-existing cardiometabolic disease or other chronic diseases.
"Prevention and treatment of [cardiometabolic disease] should be considered for Chinese adults with both normal weight and overweight/obesity," the authors conclude.
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