Background: Individuals with "metabolically healthy obesity" (MHO) phenotype (i.e., obesity and absence of cardiometabolic abnormalities: favorable levels of blood pressure, lipids, and glucose) experience lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those with "metabolically at-risk obesity" (MAO) phenotype (i.e., obesity with concurrent cardiometabolic abnormalities). Among Hispanic/Latino women and men with obesity, limited data exist on the correlates of and body composition measures associated with obesity phenotypes.
Methods: Data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (2008-2011) were used to estimate the age-adjusted distribution of obesity phenotypes among 5,426 women and men (aged 20-74 years) with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) and to compare characteristics between individuals with MHO and MAO phenotypes. Weighted Poisson regression models were used to examine cross-sectional associations between 1-standard deviation (SD) increase in body composition measures (i.e., body fat percentage, waist circumference, and body lean mass) and MHO phenotype prevalence.
Results: The age-adjusted proportion of the MHO phenotype was low (i.e., 12.5% in women and 6.5% in men). In bivariate analyses, women and men with the MHO phenotype were more likely to be younger, have higher education and acculturation levels, report lower lifetime cigarette use, and have fasting insulin and waist circumference levels than MAO. Adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, among women, each 1-SD increase in body fat percentage, waist circumference, and lean body mass was, respectively, associated with a 21%, 33%, and 31% lower prevalence of the MHO phenotype. Among men, each 1-SD increase in waist circumference and lean body mass was, respectively, associated with a 20% and 15% lower prevalence of the MHO phenotype.
Conclusions: We demonstrated that higher waist circumference and higher lean body mass were independently associated with a lower proportion of the MHO phenotype in Hispanic/Latino women and men. Findings support the need for weight reduction interventions to manage cardiometabolic health among Hispanics/Latinos.