Obesity is a risk factor for hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), dyslipidemia, and hyperuricemia. Here, we evaluated whether the same body mass index (BMI) for the U.S. population conferred similar metabolic risk in Japan. This was a cross-sectional analysis involving 90,047 Japanese adults (18⁻85 years) from St. Luke's International Hospital, Tokyo, Japan and 14,734 adults from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected in the U.S. We compared the prevalence of hypertension, DM, dyslipidemia, and hyperuricemia according to BMI in Japan and the U.S. The prevalence of hypertension, DM, and dyslipidemia were significantly higher in the U.S. than Japan, whereas the prevalence of hyperuricemia did not differ between countries. Higher BMI was an independent risk factor for hypertension, DM, dyslipidemia, and hyperuricemia both in Japan and in the U.S. after adjusting for age, sex, smoking and drinking habits, chronic kidney disease, and other cardiovascular risk factors. The BMI cut-off above which the prevalence of these cardio-metabolic risk factors increased was significantly higher in the U.S. than in Japan (27 vs. 23 kg/m² for hypertension, 29 vs. 23 kg/m² for DM, 26 vs. 22 kg/m² for dyslipidemia, and 27 vs. 23 kg/m² for hyperuricemia). Higher BMI is associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension, DM, dyslipidemia, and hyperuricemia both in Japan and U.S. The BMI cut-off above which the prevalence of cardio-metabolic risk factors increases is significantly lower in Japan than the U.S., suggesting that the same definition of overweight/obesity may not be similarly applicable in both countries.
Keywords: body mass index; epidemiology; hypertension; risk factor.