Washington: A new research has found that the association between body fat and mortality due to cardiovascular disease differs between south and East Asians.
The NYU Langone Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center researchers found that a high body-mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight, is a weak risk factor for death among South Asians due to cardiovascular disease.
By contrast, the researchers found that a BMI above 24.9 among East Asians is a strong risk factor, just as it is in Western populations. (Generally, a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal; 25 to 29.9 is overweight; and greater than 30 is obese.)
Lead study author Yu Chen , PhD, MPH, associate professor of Epidemiology in the Departments of Population Health and Environmental Medicine at NYU School of Medicine, said that their findings suggest that BMI values that are associated with death due to cardiovascular disease in east Asians and Westerns populations may not be applicable to south Asians.
The analysis also found striking differences in the association between too little body fat and the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. A low BMI among east Asians (less than 17.5) actually increases the risk of dying due to cardiovascular disease, but this same association was not found among south Asians.
The study has been published in the British Medical Journal.