Obesity, abdominal obesity, and clustering of cardiovascular risk factors in South Korea

Hye Soon Park, Yeong Sook Yun, Jung Yul Park, Young Seol Kim, Joong Myung Choi
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003, 12 (4): 411-8
The aim of this study was first, to investigate the prevalence of obesity, abdominal obesity, and clustering of cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors, and secondly, to identify the BMI or waist circumference (WC) level at which clustering increases in South Koreans. A population-based, cross-sectional National Health Examination Survey was carried out in 1998. A total of 8,816 subjects (4,029 men and 4,787 women) aged 15-79 y were selected by stratified multistage probability sampling design. The measurements taken of the subjects included: height, weight, waist and hip circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and lipids. The prevalence of BMI > or = 25 kg/m2 was 25.3% for men and 28.3% for women. The prevalence of WC >90 cm in men, and >80 cm in women was 18.5%, and 38.5%, respectively. Clustering of 3 or more CVD risk factors was 22.7% in men ad 21.7% in women. Using <21 kg/m2; as a referent, subjects with BMI of 23 kg/m2; and 27 kg/m2; had an odds ratio of 3.5 and 10.2 in men, and 3.1 and 6.7 in women, respectively for clustering of CVD risk factors. Using <65 cm as a referent, subjects with a WC of > or = 90 cm in men and > or = 85 cm in women had an odds ratio of 13.4, and 13.6, respectively for clustering of CVD risk factors. Considering the significant associations between clustering of CVD risk factors and BMI or WC, the present study suggests that high prevalence of overweight may have important implications for the health care system, even at a lower level of BMI or WC.

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