Risk factor correlates of body mass index. Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group.CMAJ 1997; 157 Suppl 1:S26-31CMAJ
To examine the association of obesity, as reflected by body mass index, with other cardiovascular risk factors specifically blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, plasma lipid levels and diabetes mellitus.
Population-based, cross-sectional surveys.
Ten Canadian provinces between 1986 and 1992.
A probability sample of 29,855 men and women aged 18 to 74 years was selected from the health insurance registration files of each province and invited to participate. Anthropometry was performed on 19,841 (66%) of these adults.
Body mass index (BMI, kg/m2), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, smoking status, level of leisure-time physical activity, self-reported diabetes, levels of plasma total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (TRIG).
The prevalence of high blood pressure increased with increasing BMI. The gradient of increase was steepest for younger (18-34 years) men and women compared with older (55-74 years) groups. The prevalence of physical inactivity in women tended to increase with increasing BMI except in the lowest BMI category. The J-shaped relationship, although weaker, was also seen in men. The prevalence of self-reported diabetes mellitus was greater with higher BMI categories at all ages and for both sexes except for the youngest group of men. The prevalence of dyslipidemia was related to BMI, as LDL and TRIG levels were higher and HDL levels lower in those with higher BMI. BMI was strongly related to blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and lipid abnormalities.
These data suggest a central role for obesity in cardiovascular risk and the potential importance of intervention strategies aimed at reducing population obesity in the management of other cardiovascular risk factors.