Certain Racial/Ethnic Groups More Likely to Have Cardiometabolic Abnormalities at Normal Weight — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 4, 2017

Certain Racial/Ethnic Groups More Likely to Have Cardiometabolic Abnormalities at Normal Weight

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD

Relying on BMI to guide screening for cardiometabolic abnormalities could miss a large percentage of at-risk adults in certain racial/ethnic groups, suggests an Annals of Internal Medicine study.

Researchers pooled data from two large atherosclerosis studies of 7600 U.S. adults aged 45–84. The cohort comprised white, black, Hispanic, South Asian, and Chinese American participants. Cardiometabolic abnormality was defined as having at least two of the following: decreased HDL, elevated triglycerides, increased blood glucose, and high blood pressure.

Some 21% of normal-weight white participants had cardiometabolic abnormality, versus 31% of blacks, 32% of Chinese Americans, 39% of Hispanics, and 44% of South Asians. Differences in demographics, behaviors, and ectopic body fat measurements didn't account for the differences across racial/ethnic groups.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for abnormal glucose only in overweight and obese adults, the researchers note. They conclude that for certain racial/ethnic groups, “testing for cardiometabolic abnormalities in normal-weight and underweight [adults] also may be an important consideration."

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