1999 to 2018 Saw Increase in Number of Metabolically Healthy Adults With Obesity

Disparities observed among sociodemographic subpopulations
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, March 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) among U.S. adults increased significantly in the past two decades, according to a study published online March 9 in JAMA Network Open.

Jiang-Shui Wang, M.B.B.S., from Tongji Medical College in Wuhan, China, and colleagues used data from 20,430 adult participants from 10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles (1999-2000 to 2017-2018) to characterize trends in the prevalence of MHO among U.S. adults with obesity.

The researchers found that the age-standardized proportion of MHO among adults with obesity increased from 10.6 percent in the 1999 to 2002 cycles to 15.0 percent in the 2015 to 2018 cycles. For adults aged 60 years and older, men, non-Hispanic White individuals, and those with higher income, private insurance, or class I obesity, there were substantial increases in the proportion of MHO. Over time, there were significant decreases observed in the age-standardized prevalence of elevated triglycerides (from 44.9 to 29.0 percent) and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 51.1 to 39.6 percent). While there was no significant change in elevated blood pressure (from 57.3 to 54.0 percent), there was a significant increase seen in elevated fasting plasma glucose (from 49.7 to 58.0 percent).

"These results highlight the need for effective strategies to optimize metabolic status and prevent obesity-related complications among people with obesity, especially among vulnerable subpopulations," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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