Effect of obesity on cardiometabolic risk factors in Asian Indians

J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2013 Jun;4(2):116-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jcdr.2012.09.002. Epub 2013 Jun 27.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity and their effects on cardiometabolic risk factors in a representative sample of urban population in Eastern India.

Materials and methods: A population-based survey was conducted among a randomly selected study population aged 20-80 years in an urban population of Berhampur city of Eastern India. Both anthropometric and biochemical information were collected, in addition to detailed information on classical cardiometabolic risk factors. Both descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed. Obesity and overweight were defined based on the revised Asian-Pacific population criteria (Body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m(2) and ≥23 kg/m(2), respectively).

Results: The age-standardized rates of obesity and overweight are 36.8% (Males: 33.2%; Females: 40.8%) and 17.6%, (Males: 20.4%; Females: 15.1%) respectively, i.e., over half are either obese or overweight in this study population. Compared to the World Health Organization (WHO) standard cutoff criteria of overweight [BMI ≥25 kg/m(2)] and obesity [BMI >30 kg/m(2)], the cardiometabolic risk factors studied showed a significant incremental rise even with the lower cutoffs of the revised Asia-Pacific criteria. Older age, female gender, family history of diabetes, being hypertensive, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, physical inactivity and middle to higher socioeconomic status significantly contributed to increased obesity risk among this urban population.

Conclusion: One-third of the urban populations are obese in Eastern India - an underestimate compared to the standard BMI cutoff criteria. Nevertheless, significant associations of the classical cardiometabolic risk factors with obesity were observed using the revised Asia-Pacific criteria clearly indicating a more aggressive cardiovascular prevention strategy for Asian Indians.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk factors; Coronary heart disease; Diabetes; Obesity; South Asians.