Obesity and Its Association with Undiagnosed Diabetes Mellitus, High Blood Pressure and Hypercholesterolemia in the Malaysian Adult Population: A National Cross-Sectional Study Using NHMS Data

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Feb 9;20(4):3058. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20043058.


This study aimed to report the prevalence of obesity, classified using Asian cut-off, and its relationships with undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and hypercholesteremia. We analyzed the nationally representative data from 14,025 Malaysian adults who participated in the NHMS 2015. The relationship between obesity and undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, and hypercholesteremia was determined using multivariable logistic regressions, and lifestyle risk factors and sociodemographic characteristics were adjusted. The undiagnosed high blood pressure group showed the highest proportionate of overweight/obese (80.0%, 95% CI: 78.1-81.8) and central obesity (61.8%, 95% CI: 59.3-64.2). Inverse association was observed between underweight with undiagnosed high blood pressure (aOR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.26-0.61) and hypercholesterolemia (aOR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59-0.95) groups. In contrast, positive relationships were shown between overweight/obese and risk of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (aOR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.31-2.07), high blood pressure (aOR: 3.08, 95% CI: 2.60-3.63), and hypercholesterolemia (aOR: 1.37, 95% CI: 1.22-1.53). Likewise, central obesity was positively associated with a risk of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (aOR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.17-1.67), high blood pressure (aOR: 2.83, 95% CI: 2.45-3.26), and hypercholesterolemia (aOR: 1.26, 95% CI: 1.12-1.42). Our findings indicated the importance of periodical health examinations to assess the risk of non-communicable diseases among the general and abdominal obese Malaysian adults.

Keywords: Malaysia; obesity; undiagnosed diabetes mellitus; undiagnosed high blood pressure; undiagnosed hypercholesterolemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia* / complications
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors

Grants and funding

The present study was supported by the Ministry of Health Malaysia research grant (NMRR-14-1064-21877).