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Metabolically healthy obesity and risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality

journal contribution
posted on 2015-10-30, 15:09 authored by Mark Hamer, Emmanuel Stamatakis
Context: Previous studies have identified an obese phenotype without the burden of adiposityassociated cardiometabolic risk factors, although the health effects remain unclear. Objective: We examined the association between metabolically healthy obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality. Design and Setting: This was an observational study with prospective linkage to mortality records in community-dwelling adults from the general population in Scotland and England. Participants: A total of 22,203 men and women [aged 54.1 (SD 12.7 yr), 45.2% men] without known history of CVD at baseline. Interventions: Based on blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, diabetes diagnosis, waist circumference, and low-grade inflammation (C-reactive protein ≥ 3 mg/liter), participants were classified as metabolically healthy (0 or 1 metabolic abnormality) or unhealthy (two or more metabolic abnormalities). Obesity was defined as a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater. Main Outcome Measure: Study members were followed up, on average, more than 7.0±3.0 yr for cause-specific mortality. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association of metabolic health/obesity categories with mortality. Results: Therewere604CVDand1868 all-cause deaths, respectively. Compared with the metabolically healthy nonobese participants, their obese counterparts were not at elevated risk of CVD[hazard ratio (HR)1.26,95%confidence interval (CI)0.74–2.13],although both non obese (HR1.59,95%CI1.30–1.94) and obese (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.17–2.30) participants with two or more metabolic abnormalities were at elevated risk. Metabolically unhealthy obese participants were at elevated risk of all-cause mortality compared with their metabolically healthy obese counterparts (HR 1.72, 95% CI 1.23–2.41). Conclusion: Metabolically healthy obese participants were not at increased risk of CVD and all cause mortality over 7 yr.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism


HAMER, M. and STAMATAKIS, E., 2012. Metabolically healthy obesity and risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 97(7), pp. 2482-2488.


© Endocrine Society


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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