Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Association between high BMI and cardiovascular disease is stronger among east Asians than south Asians

Date:
October 1, 2013
Source:
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Summary:
A study has found that the association between body fat and mortality due to cardiovascular disease differs between south and east Asians, a finding that has important implications for global health recommendations.

A high body-mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, is a weak risk factor for death among South Asians due to cardiovascular disease. By contrast, the researchers found that a BMI above 24.9 among East Asians is a strong risk factor, just as it is in Western populations.
Credit: Barnaby Chambers / Fotolia

A study led by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that the association between body fat and mortality due to cardiovascular disease differs between south and east Asians, a finding that has important implications for global health recommendations. Cardiovascular disease, a condition in which arteries thicken and restrict blood flow, kills more than 17 million people annually, making it the leading cause of death worldwide.

In an analysis published today in the British Medical Journal that looked at more than 1.1 million south and east Asians, the researchers found that a high body-mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, is a weak risk factor for death among South Asians due to cardiovascular disease. By contrast, the researchers found that a BMI above 24.9 among East Asians is a strong risk factor, just as it is in Western populations. (Generally, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal; 25 to 29.9 is overweight; and greater than 30 is obese.) "This study is the first to compare east and south Asians for potential differences in the association between BMI and cardiovascular disease," says lead study author Yu Chen, PhD, MPH, associate professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Population Health and Environmental Medicine at NYU School of Medicine. "Our findings suggest that BMI values that are associated with death due to cardiovascular disease in east Asians and Westerns populations may not be applicable to south Asians."

South Asia is a geographic region that includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, and Nepal, among other countries. East Asia spans China, Japan, North and South Korea, and Taiwan, among other countries. In this study, south Asia was represented by Bangladesh and India and east Asia by China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Previous studies have shown that south Asians have more body fat and are more susceptible to diabetes at a lower BMI than Western populations. Given the relationship between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the researchers expected to find a strong association between BMI and cardiovascular-disease mortality among south Asians. On the contrary, they found an unexpectedly weak association.

"Our findings stress the need for future studies that include other anthropometric measures such as waist circumference, thigh circumference, or waist-to-hip ratio in assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease risk in South Asians," says Dr. Chen.

The analysis also found striking differences in the association between too little body fat and the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. A low BMI among east Asians (less than 17.5) actually increases the risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease, but this same association was not found among south Asians.

The research drew on data pooled from the Asia Cohort Consortium, an international research collaboration that followed 19 groups of similar people from East and South Asia -- for a total of 1,124,897 volunteers -- over an average of ten years.

Another important finding from the analysis showed that the association between BMI and death due to cardiovascular disease was stronger among east Asians below the age of 53. "This is consistent with what has been observed in Western populations. We know that BMI is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease during middle age but not so relevant during old age, when more body fat seems to confer an overall survival benefit," says Dr. Chen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Y. Chen, W. K. Copeland, R. Vedanthan, E. Grant, J. E. Lee, D. Gu, P. C. Gupta, K. Ramadas, M. Inoue, S. Tsugane, A. Tamakoshi, Y.-T. Gao, J.-M. Yuan, X.-O. Shu, K. Ozasa, I. Tsuji, M. Kakizaki, H. Tanaka, Y. Nishino, C.-J. Chen, R. Wang, K.-Y. Yoo, Y.-O. Ahn, H. Ahsan, W.-H. Pan, C.-S. Chen, M. S. Pednekar, C. Sauvaget, S. Sasazuki, G. Yang, W.-P. Koh, Y.-B. Xiang, W. Ohishi, T. Watanabe, Y. Sugawara, K. Matsuo, S.-L. You, S. K. Park, D.-H. Kim, F. Parvez, S.-Y. Chuang, W. Ge, B. Rolland, D. McLerran, R. Sinha, M. Thornquist, D. Kang, Z. Feng, P. Boffetta, W. Zheng, J. He, J. D. Potter. Association between body mass index and cardiovascular disease mortality in east Asians and south Asians: pooled analysis of prospective data from the Asia Cohort Consortium. BMJ, 2013; 347 (oct01 1): f5446 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f5446

Cite This Page:

NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "Association between high BMI and cardiovascular disease is stronger among east Asians than south Asians." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001192151.htm>.
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. (2013, October 1). Association between high BMI and cardiovascular disease is stronger among east Asians than south Asians. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001192151.htm
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "Association between high BMI and cardiovascular disease is stronger among east Asians than south Asians." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001192151.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins