Metabolically Healthy and Unhealthy Obese Phenotypes among Arabs and South Asians: Prevalence and Relationship with Cardiometabolic Indicators

Victor M. Oguoma, Mohamed Abu-Farha, Neil T. Coffee, Saad Alsharrah, Faisal H. Al-Refaei, Jehad Abubaker, Mark Daniel, Fahd Al-Mulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)

Abstract

Obesity is a public health crisis in Kuwait. However, not all obese individuals are metabolically unhealthy (MuHO) given the link between obesity and future cardiovascular events. We assessed the prevalence of the metabolically healthy obese (MHO) phenotype and its relationship with high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in Arab and South Asian ethnic groups in Kuwait. The national cross-sectional survey of diabetes and obesity in Kuwait adults aged 18–60 years were analysed. The harmonised definition of metabolic syndrome was used to classify metabolic health. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to model the relationship between the MHO and MuHO phenotypes and hs-CRP, ALT and HOMA-IR levels. Overall, the prevalence of MHO for body mass index (BMI)-and waist circumference (WC)-defined obesity was 30.8% and 56.0%, respectively; it was greater in women (60.4% and 61.8%, respectively) than men (39.6% and 38.2%, respectively). Prevalence rates were also lower for South Asians than for Arabs. The MHO phenotype had hs-CRP values above 3 µg/mL for each age group category. Men compared to women, and South Asians compared to Arabs had a lower relative risk for the MHO group relative to the MuHO group. This study shows there is high prevalence of MHO in Kuwait.

Original languageEnglish
Article number915
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

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