The association of incident hypertension with metabolic health and obesity status: definition of metabolic health does not matter

Yu Mi Kang, Chang Hee Jung, Jung Eun Jang, Jenie Yoonoo Hwang, Eun Hee Kim, Joong-Yeol Park, Hong-Kyu Kim, Woo Je Lee
Clinical Endocrinology 2016, 85 (2): 207-15

OBJECTIVE: Metabolically healthy obese (MHO) phenotype refers to obese individuals with a favourable metabolic profile. Its prognostic value remains controversial and may partly depend on differences in how the phenotype is defined. We aimed to investigate whether the MHO phenotype is associated with future development of incident hypertension in a Korean population according to various definitions of metabolic health.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study population comprised 31 033 Koreans without hypertension. Participants were stratified into metabolically healthy nonobese (MHNO), metabolically unhealthy nonobese (MUNO), metabolically healthy obese (MHO) and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO) by body mass index (cut-off value, 25·0 kg/m(2) ) and metabolic health state, using four different definitions: Adult Treatment Panel (ATP)-III, Wildman, Karelis and the homoeostasis model assessment (HOMA) criteria.

RESULTS: Over the median follow-up period of 35·0 months (range, 4·5-81·4 months), 4589 of the 31 033 individuals (14·8%) developed incident hypertension. Compared with the MHNO group, the MHO group showed increased association with incident hypertension with multivariate-adjusted odds ratios of 1·56 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1·41-1·72), 1·58 (95% CI 1·42-1·75), 1·52 (95% CI 1·35-1·71) and 1·46 (95% CI 1·33-1·61), when defined by ATP-III, Wildman, Karelis and HOMA criteria, respectively.

CONCLUSION: MUO individuals showed the highest association with the incident hypertension (adjusted odds ratios up to 2·00). MHO subjects showed an approximately 1·5-fold higher association with incident hypertension than their nonobese counterpart regardless of the definition of metabolic health used. Thus, considering both metabolic health and obesity is important for the assessment of potential cardiovascular outcomes.

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