by Chris Fuchs | NBC Asian America

 

People of Hispanic, African-American, and Asian descent could be at high risk for factors related to heart disease even if they are not overweight or obese, according to the lead author of a new study.

 

The research, published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that among people of normal weight, South Asians were twice as likely as whites to have risk factors for heart disease.

 

That likelihood was 80 percent greater for Hispanics and 50 percent for blacks and people of Chinese descent, the research found.

 

"One of the messages of the paper is that in using overweight and obesity as the main criteria, clinicians are likely to miss a large number of people, especially in race-ethnic minority populations, that are at high risk but are normal weight," Unjali Gujral, a postdoctoral fellow with the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center and the study's lead author, told NBC News by phone Tuesday.

 

asian.jpg

 

Body mass index (BMI), a height-to-weight ratio, is used to determine whether someone is overweight or obese. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group of health experts, recommends that doctors use this ratio as the main criteria to screen for risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes, according to the study.

 

Those factors include low HDL (often called good cholesterol); elevated triglycerides (fat found in blood); elevated glucose (blood sugar); and high blood pressure, the study said.

 

The presence of at least two translates to a higher risk of having heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.

 

But a BMI number by itself may not be a one-size-fits-all standard for deciding whether to check for heart disease risks, the study suggests.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines normal BMI as 18.5 to 24.9; overweight as 25.0 to 29.9; and obese as 30 and over.

 

The ranges differ slightly for South Asians and Chinese, two groups where heart disease and diabetes are known to occur at lower BMIs. For them, normal runs from 18.5 to 22.9; overweight from 23.0 to 27.4; and obese, 27.5 and higher.

 

The study estimated the necessary BMI for each race and ethnic group that would be equal to the same number of heart health risk factors as someone who is white with a 25.0 BMI, the low end of overweight, Gujral said.

 

For people of color, those BMI results came out lower: 22.9 for blacks, 21.5 for Hispanics, 20.9 for Chinese, and 19.6 for South Asians, the study found.

 

All of them were considered normal weight on the BMI scales.

 

"In short, what that tells us is that a person of a race-ethnic minority group could be thinner than a white individual and still have the same amount of heart health risk factors," Gujral said.

 

The researchers culled data on 7,617 people taken from two separate studies. Among them were 803 Chinese Americans and 803 South Asians, who represented countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

 

It also included 2,622 whites, 1,893 blacks, and 1,496 Hispanics. Gujral said the age of participants began at 45.

 

The study was conducted by Emory University in Atlanta and the University of California, San Francisco.

One limitation, Gujral said, was that researchers couldn't say for sure whether the findings would be exactly the same for other East Asian ethnicities like Koreans or Japanese. Gujral said there is a shortage of studies with data on Asian Americans.

 

"But we can speculate we would have a higher risk in all Asian populations for these heart disease risk factors at normal weight compared to white individuals," she added.

 

Gujral also said results may vary for South Asians born in the United States. Those in the study were immigrants, she said.

 

Participants were also older, Gujral noted, meaning that the findings could be somewhat different for younger populations.

 

In all groups, Gujral said, certain factors like education, age, and where fat is stored in the body explained why someone would be at normal weight yet still have a high risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

"What these factors didn't explain were the differences in this high cardiometabolic risk in normal weight people across ethnic groups," she added.

 

Gujral said she hopes the study sparks dialogue between patients and doctors, so that people of color with normal weight get screened for factors considered risks for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

 

"The major takeaway would be just for individuals who are members of race-ethnic minority populations to be aware of this increased risk and to have conversations with physicians or healthcare providers about their increased risk," she said.


  1. Asians, Blacks, Hispanics Have More Heart Disease Risks at Normal Weight: Study

    by Chris Fuchs | NBC Asian America People of Hispanic, African-American, and Asian descent could be at high risk for factors related to heart disease even if they are not overweight or obese, according to the lead author of a new study. The ...
    Date2017.04.06 ByAsiaInDallas Views375
    Read More
  2. DFW Korean Nationals Gearing Up for Korean Presidential Election

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ In front of H-Mart in Carrollton. Officials from the Consular Office of the Republic of Korea in Dallas and Korean Society of Dallas are helping Korean nationals register to vote in the ...
    Date2017.04.03 ByAsiaInDallas Views204
    Read More
  3. A Tragic Loss for the Pakistani American Community of North Texas

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com A Tragic Loss for the Pakistani American Community of Dallas Fort Worth occurred over night. According to media reports, Julia Zaman(46) of Frisco was killed in a tragic accident on Dallas...
    Date2017.03.29 ByAsiaInDallas Views1272
    Read More
  4. Hero in Kansas Hate Crime Shooting Awarded $100K from Indian Americans

    Ian Grillot risked his own life and took bullets in the chest and hand to stop a suspected hate crime in progress in Kansas. The Indian American community has rallied to show their thanks by donating $100,000 to a reward fund set up by the ...
    Date2017.03.28 ByAsiaInDallas Views302
    Read More
  5. Spa Castle Owners Arrested for Failing to Pay $1.5 Million in Taxes

    by Andy Tran | Cheif Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ Victor Chon, (50, front left) and Steven Chon(57, back) The family owners of a popular spa destination in Carrollton have been indicted on felony charges for failure to pay $1.5 million ...
    Date2017.03.23 ByAsiaInDallas Views1772
    Read More
  6. South Korean President Park Ousted!

    Court delivers unanimous verdict on impeachment of Park Geun-hye The Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, Friday, in a historic ruling to remove her from office over a corruption scandal involving her frien...
    Date2017.03.10 ByAsiaInDallas Views573
    Read More
  7. For all the women who’ve had a tough day at work!

    For all the women who’ve had a tough day at work, think of all the women in Korea. According to the OECD report, Korea ranked the worst in the gender wage gap among OECD countries. Well, Happy International Women's Day! Source: ww...
    Date2017.03.08 ByAsiaInDallas Views155
    Read More
  8. Atlanta Museum Cancels Planned ‘Comfort Women’ Memorial

    by AGNES CONSTANTE | NBC Asian American ▲ A mock up of a the proposed Atlanta comfort women memorial, which is modeled after an existing memorial in Seoul. Courtesy of the Atlanta Comfort Women Memorial Task Force. A museum in Atlanta, Georg...
    Date2017.03.08 ByAsiaInDallas Views386
    Read More
  9. Eating Alone In Korea Is The Newest Trend

    by www.koreaboo.com In Korea, it’s more common to eat as groups of two or more than it is to eat alone, but a new trend is on the rise called ‘HONBAP’. ‘Honbap‘ is a combination of the Korean words for “al...
    Date2017.03.04 ByAsiaInDallas Views1095
    Read More
  10. Jeannie Kim Becomes the New President for KAPN

    by Andy Tran | Chief Editor | asiaindallas@gmail.com ▲ (From left) James Mun (immediate past president), Rachel Nam (V.P. Communications), Jeannie Kim (President), Chase Park (V.P. Treasurer), Brian Park (Board Chair). Photo courtesy of Kore...
    Date2017.03.03 ByAsiaInDallas Views1657
    Read More
  11. Do Koreans Have Obsession with Fried Chicken?

    By Jason Strother | PRI | March 01, 2017 Korean fried chicken gives new meaning to the letters K-F-C. But, unlike Colonel Sanders’ original recipe, the ingredients are no secret. Some of the most popular marinades for South Korean-sty...
    Date2017.03.02 ByAsiaInDallas Views340
    Read More
  12. Asian Last Names Lead To Fewer Job Interviews, Still

    JENNY J. CHEN | NPR What's in a name? A lot, according to a new study from researchers at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, both in Canada. The study found that job applicants in Canada with Asian names — names of I...
    Date2017.02.23 ByAsiaInDallas Views408
    Read More
  13. Korean American Women’s Association of Dallas Makes 6,000 Dumplings

    The Korean American Women’s Association of Dallas (KAWAD) made over 6,000 Korean-style dumplings, known as Man-Doo, last Saturday, February 18th. Members of the KAWAD gathered at the Korean Culture Center of Dallas last Saturday after...
    Date2017.02.20 ByAsiaInDallas Views488
    Read More
  14. Elegant Beauty of Korean Hanbok

    Designer Carolina Herrera, South Korea Collaborate To ‘Reveal Elegant Beauty’ of Korean Hanbok by RUBY VERIDIANO | NBC Asian American FEB 17 2017, 5:00 PM ET The Republic of Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and...
    Date2017.02.20 ByAsiaInDallas Views978
    Read More
  15. Texas-Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce and Alliance Takes Off

    Texas-Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce and Alliance held its inaugural banquet at Asia Times Square in Grand Prairie last Sunday, in time for the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Frisco Mayor Maher Maso and Dallas County Republican Party Chair...
    Date2017.02.15 ByAsiaInDallas Views697
    Read More
  16. With ‘The Great Wall’ Comes Great Challenges as China’s Influence in Hollywood Grows

    by TRACI G. LEE | NBC Asia America It all began with five photos. Intended to tease what would end up becoming the largest U.S.-China co-production ever, Entertainment Weekly released the first look at "The Great Wall" last July, setting off...
    Date2017.02.14 ByAsiaInDallas Views521
    Read More
  17. Applications Now Open For Bush Institute’s North Korean Refugee Scholarship

    The George W. Bush Institute formally opened applications for the North Korea Freedom Scholarship Fund Monday, February 6. The North Korea Freedom Scholarship Fund is designed to help North Korean escapees pursue higher education and build ...
    Date2017.02.08 ByAsiaInDallas Views367
    Read More
  18. Ivy League Students Commits Suicide Again

    By Han Seo Seo | Koreadaily.com Columbia loses seven students in five months to suicide More than 1,000 students per year are taking their lives Yet another student at a prestigious university has taken his own life. In the month of January...
    Date2017.02.07 ByAsiaInDallas Views1368
    Read More
  19. For Some, Trump’s Immigration Ban Parallels Past Anti-Asian Policies

    by CHRIS FUCHS | NBC Asian America For Tom Ikeda, a third-generation Japanese American, this past week seemed like 1924 all over again. That was the year the United States set immigrant quotas and banned immigration altogether for citizens ...
    Date2017.01.30 ByAsiaInDallas Views472
    Read More
  20. Asian Movies on the Upswing in North Texas

    ▲ Korean-American movie theater called Cine Oasis in Carrollton plays the latest movies from South Korea. Photo, courtesy of Jason Kim of Korean Society of Dallas. BY CARY DARLING cdarling@star-telegram.com When first arriving at the Cine O...
    Date2017.01.28 ByAsiaInDallas Views457
    Read More
List
Board Pagination Prev 1 2 3 4 Next
/ 4
CLOSE