Modernization and cardiometabolic risk in Samoan adolescents

Am J Hum Biol. 2012 Jul-Aug;24(4):551-7. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22269. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Objective: To describe the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factor clustering in Samoan adolescents and to relate risk factor clustering to weight status and general modernization.

Methods: Anthropometric and biochemical data collected from adolescents aged 12-17.9 years who participated in the Samoan Family Study of Overweight and Diabetes were used to describe the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors (high waist circumference, high blood pressure, high triglyceride level, low-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high fasting serum glucose). A total of 436 adolescents were included in this analysis; 237 (54.4%) from American Samoa (n = 123 males) and 199 (45.6%) from Samoa (n = 90 males). Risk factor clustering was indicated by the presence of ≥ 3 risk factors.

Results: Cardiometabolic risk factor clustering was greater in American Samoan adolescents (17.9% males, 21.9% females) than Samoan adolescents (1.1% males, 2.8% females). The frequency of risk factor clustering varied according to body mass index status. In males, risk factor clustering was entirely confined to obese adolescents, whereas female adolescents who were overweight or obese were at risk.

Conclusions: Cardiometabolic risk factor clustering is prevalent in the young American Samoan population and is likely to become more prevalent with increasing modernization in Samoan youth. Screening and intervention should be targeted at this age group to reduce the non-communicable disease burden faced by these populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • American Samoa / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Independent State of Samoa / epidemiology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Change
  • Waist Circumference


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids