Aim: To investigate the prevalence of obesity in a Chinese community according to the World Health Organization recommended criteria for Asians in 2000 based on body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), and to examine the associations between obesity and the risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes among adults age 40 years and over in Shanghai, China.
Methods: A population-based survey was conducted in Youyi Community in Shanghai. Five thousand seventy-one subjects (1917 men and 3154 women) were included in this study. Standard questionnaires were used to collect baseline data of participants. Body weight, height, WC, blood pressure, and glucose in the blood were measured.
Results: The prevalence of general obesity was 44.6% (46.4% for men and 43.6% for women) according to BMI and 36.1% (25.5% for men and 42.6% for women) for central obesity according to WC. The prevalence of obesity I was higher in men (41.6%) than in women (36.2%; chi(2) =14.8, P<0.05), although the rate was higher in women than in men for obesity II (7.4% versus 4.8%, chi(2) =13.6, P<0.01) or central obesity (42.6% versus 25.5%, chi(2) =152.1, P<0.01). Odds ratios of hypertension and type 2 diabetes were significantly higher in the obesity group compared with either the group with BMI 18.5-<23.0kg/m(2) or the group with WC<90cm for men or <80cm for women.
Conclusions: According to the criteria of obesity for Asians, the prevalence of obesity among Chinese adults age 40 years and over in Shanghai is high. Subjects with obesity have a significantly higher risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes.