Skip to main content
main-content
Top

15-01-2012 | Cardiology | Article

Hypertension risk elevated with increased BMI, waist circumference

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Researchers have found that there is an elevated relative risk for hypertension with increased body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference among White, Aboriginal, and Asian individuals.

Aboriginal individuals experience the greatest increases in relative risk for hypertension with increased BMI or waist circumference within these ethnic groups, report Darren Warburton (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) and co-authors in the Journal of Hypertension.

In addition, East and South Asian individuals experience greater relative risks for hypertension than White populations at the same level of BMI or waist circumference.

Warburton and team measured blood pressure, BMI, and waist circumference and analyzed self-reported antihypertensive medication usage among White (n=3566), Aboriginal (n=850), East Asian (n=446), and South Asian (n=222) individuals from British Columbia in Canada.

The findings revealed that all four ethnic groups demonstrated significant increases in the relative risks for hypertension with increased BMI although the magnitude of increased risk varied between ethnic groups.

Aboriginal men displayed the greatest increase in hypertension with increasing BMI. Indeed, men in this ethnic group with a BMI higher than 31.0 kg/m2 experienced a 2.5-fold increase in the relative risk for hypertension, compared with Aboriginal men who had a BMI lower than 25.0 kg/m2.

On the other hand, South Asian men demonstrated the lowest increase in relative risk (1.5-fold increase).

Overall, the relative risks for hypertension significantly increased at a BMI of at least 29.0 kg/m2, in comparison to men with a BMI lower than 25 kg/m2. Individuals with a BMI of at least 31.0 kg/m2 experienced a two-fold increase in hypertension risk relative to those with a BMI of less than 25.0 kg/m2.

Similarly, there was a significant increase in the relative risk for hypertension with increased waist circumference.

Aboriginal individuals demonstrated a greater magnitude of relative risk increase for hypertension than the other ethnic groups. Indeed, Aboriginal men had a 4.8-fold increase in relative risk for hypertension compared with East Asian men, who had the lowest increase in relative risk associated with increased waist circumference (>90 cm), at a 1.2-fold increase.

In analyses comparing the risk for hypertension across different ethnic groups relative to the White population, a multivariate model including BMI and waist circumference, and adjusted for age, diabetes status, and physical activity showed that Aboriginal, East Asian, and South Asian individuals all had a higher risk for hypertension, at relative risk ratios of 1.22, 1.56, and 1.52, respectively .

Warburton et al write: "Obesity measures appear to account for hypertension differences between Aboriginal and White populations."

They conclude: "Hypertension prevention and treatment strategies among Aboriginal, East Asian, and South Asian populations should target reducing fat mass and abdominal fat."

MedWire (http://www.medwire-news.md/) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Piriya Mahendra

Related topics