OA Epidemiology

Tracking of ‘Metabolically Healthy’ Abdominal Obesity

Proceedings of the 2013 annual meeting of the Netherlands Epidemiology Society

Volume 1 Issue S1 Abstract 11

 

Jolanda M.A. Boer, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven
Inge M. Verhoogt, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven
Daphne L. van der A, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven
Astrid C.J. Nooyens, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven
W.M. Monique Verschuren, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven

Background
It has been postulated that a certain proportion of obese individuals might be resistant to the development of additional metabolic risk factors. It is, however, unclear to what extent these ‘metabolically healthy’ obese keep their healthy profile over time and what determinants are to do so. Therefore, we studied the prevalence and development of
‘metabolically healthy’ abdominal obesity (MHAO) in the Doetinchem Cohort Study.

Methods
We included 4911 men and women aged 26-65 years at baseline (1993-1997). Follow-up surveys were conducted after 5 and 10 years. MHAO was defined as abdominal obesity (waist circumference ≥102 cm for men; ≥88 cm for women) without elevated levels of several other metabolic risk factors (random plasma glucose level <7.8 mmol/L, no diabetes, blood pressure <130/85mmHg, no antihypertensive medication, total cholesterol <6.5 mmol/L, HDL-cholesterol levels ≥1.03 mmol/L for men; ≥1.29 mmol/L for women, no lipid- lowering medication).

Results
At baseline, 21.5% of the abdominal obese (n=332) were considered to be ‘metabolically healthy’. This overall percentage declined to 10.5% ten years later. Of the MHAO
participants at baseline, 55% had elevated metabolic risk factor levels after 5 years, and 70% after 10 years. Only 10% had MHAO at all three surveys. Those who remained MHAO were younger and had a smaller increase in weight, waist circumference  and body mass index
than those who developed elevated metabolic risk factor levels.

Conclusions
Our findings suggest that ‘metabolically healthy’ abdominal obesity is not a distinct phenotype, but a transitional stage towards ‘metabolically unhealthy’ abdominal obesity.

Published: 06 Jun, 2013

 
Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)