The Effect of Family History of Diabetes and Middle Eastern Background on Abdominal Obesity is Modified by Gender: A Population based Cross-Sectional Study

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Background: Abdominal obesity is on the increase worldwide and ethnic minority groups are at high risk. However, studies of the underlying causes are scarce. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of abdominal obesity and to identify metabolic, lifestyle and socio-demographic risk factors associated with abdominal obesity in male and female residents of Malmö, a city in southern Sweden, comparing those born in Iraq with those born in Sweden. Method: We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study from 2010 to 2012. Both male and female residents of Malmö, aged 30-75 years, born in Iraq (n=1387) or Sweden (n=749), underwent a physical examination. Fasting blood samples were drawn and socio-demography and lifestyle were characterized using questionnaires. Associations with abdominal obesity were assessed by logistic regression analysis. Results: Abdominal obesity (waist circumference ≥80 cm in women and ≥94 cm in men) was highly prevalent and was most common in Iraqi-born women (Iraqi-born women 89.2% vs. Swedish women 73.1%, p<0.001, Iraqi-born men 70.2% vs. Swedish men 63.6%, p<0.003). Furthermore, family history of diabetes was more prevalent in participants born in Iraq than those born in Sweden (53.6% vs.28.5%, p<0.001). Based on the total study population, female gender, Middle Eastern background, family history of diabetes and depression conveyed higher odds of abdominal obesity. Family history of diabetes and Middle Eastern origin conveyed higher odds of abdominal obesity in females than in males (Pinteraction: Female gender*Family history=0.023; Pinteraction: Female gender*Middle Eastern origin =0.011). Conclusion: Abdominal obesity is highly prevalent irrespective of Middle Eastern or Caucasian background but most prevalent in Iraqi-born women. Our findings suggest that factors related to heritage such as genetics and traditional lifestyles, influence excess risk in Middle Eastern females in particular, which should be taken into consideration when planning preventive actions. Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Migration; Middle East; Family history of diabetes; Gender Abbreviations: BMI: Body Mass Index; CVD: Cardiovascular Disease; FPG: Fasting Plasma Glucose; HAD scale: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; IDF: International Diabetes Federation; OGTT: Oral Glucose Tolerance Test; PA: Physical Activity; The MEDIM study: The Impact of Migration and Ethnicity on Diabetes in Malmö; T2D: Type 2 Diabetes; WHO: World Health Organization


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Region Skåne

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Endokrinologi och diabetes
Sidor (från-till)1-9
TidskriftCurr Res Diabetes Obes J
StatusPublished - 2018 feb 1
Peer review utfördJa