Background. Relative to Europeans, Asian Indians have higher rates of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Whether differences in body composition may underlie these population differences remains unclear. Methods. We compared directly measured anthropometric data from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES) survey of southern Indians (I) with those from three US ethnic groups (C: Caucasians, A: African Americans, and M: Mexican Americans) from NHANES III (Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey). A total of 15,733 subjects from CURES and 5,975 from NHANES III met inclusion criteria (age 20-39, no known diabetes). Results. Asian Indian men and women had substantially lower body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and body surface area relative to US groups (P values <0.0001). In contrast, the mean (±se) waist-weight ratio was significantly higher (P<0.001) in I (men 1.35 ± 0.002 and women 1.45 ± 0.002) than in all the US groups (1.09, 1.21, and 1.14 in A, M, and C men; 1.23, 1.33, and 1.26 in A, M, and C women (se ranged from 0.005 to 0.006)). Conclusions. Compared to the US, the waist-weight ratio is significantly higher in men and women from Chennai, India. These results support the hypothesis that Southeast Asian Indians are particularly predisposed toward central adiposity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism