Obesity, Ethnicity, and Hypertension

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BMI affects hypertension incidence more strongly in Chinese Asians than American whites, blacks.

 

Obesity has a stronger impact on the incidence of hypertension among Chinese Asians than in American whites and American blacks, researchers reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology (2008;167:1365-1374).

 

Over about eight years of follow-up, each one-unit increase in BMI was associated with a 2.5, 1.7, and 1.8 percentage-point increase in the incidence of hypertension in Chinese Asians, American whites, and American blacks, respectively, according to the investigators. The increase for Chinese Asians was significantly higher than for the other groups.

 

In addition, each one-unit increase in BMI was associated with a 1.7, 1.1, and 1.6 percentage-point increase in the incidence of diabetes in the three groups, respectively, with the increase significantly higher for the Asians than the whites but similar for the Asians and blacks.

 

June Stevens, PhD, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill analyzed data from the People's Republic of China Study (1983-1994) and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (1987-1998). The study looked at data from 5,980 Chinese Asians, 10,776 American whites, and 3,582 blacks.

 

“Given the ethnic differences in associations, the results support advocacy of public health and medical actions toward obesity prevention and treatment in China,” the authors wrote.

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