13 Aug No “Hispanic Paradox” Obesity Strongly Associated With Mortality in Latinx Population
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jonathan Emberson, PhD
(Medical Statistics and Epidemiology)
Deputy Director of Graduate Studies
Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit
Clinical Trial Service Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit
Nuffield Department Population Health
University of Oxford
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Some previous studies had claimed that being overweight is not strongly associated with mortality in Hispanic populations (the ‘Hispanic paradox’). However, these studies had not accounted for the fact that while obesity makes diabetes and several other chronic diseases more common, these diseases may then result in substantial weight loss, thereby hiding the reason why those diseases arose in the first place.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: In our study of Mexican adults followed for 14 years, we took the precaution of excluding people who, at the time of recruitment, already had any chronic disease or any biochemical evidence that they were developing diabetes, and concentrated our attention on deaths more than 5 years after recruitment.
We found that overweight and obesity was strongly associated with mortality. Among those with BMI>25 kg/m2, each increase of 5 kg/m2 was associated with a 30% increase in mortality. In addition, among people whose BMI was similar, waist circumference was of additional relevance to mortality, suggesting that central obesity is particularly harmful.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: There is no Hispanic paradox; overweight and obesity are major causes of death in Hispanic populations, just as they are in non-Hispanic populations in America and Europe.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future studies of the effect of physical, biological or lifestyle characteristics on health should carefully consider how the characteristics they’re trying to study may already have been influenced by pre-existing health problems (and then to design their analyses in a way that deals with this problem appropriately).
Disclosures? No. A full list of the funders and author disclosures are given in our paper.
Gnatiuc L, Alegre-Díaz J, Wade R, Ramirez-Reyes R, Tapia-Conyer R, Garcilazo-Ávila A, et al. General and Abdominal Adiposity and Mortality in Mexico City: Prospective Study of 150 000 Adults. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 13 August 2019] doi: 10.7326/M18-3502
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