Journal Article

Body Mass Index and Incident Ischemic Heart Disease in South Korean Men and Women

Sun Ha Jee, Roberto Pastor-Barriuso, Lawrence J. Appel, Il Suh, Edgar R. Miller and Eliseo Guallar

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 1, pages 42-48
Published in print July 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online July 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Body Mass Index and Incident Ischemic Heart Disease in South Korean Men and Women

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Asian populations have a higher body fat percentage for a given body mass index (BMI) than Caucasians. However, little information is available on the association of BMI with ischemic heart disease (IHD) incidence in Asians at low BMI levels. The authors prospectively evaluated the association of BMI (weight (kg)/height (m)2) with IHD incidence over 9 years of follow-up (1993–2001) among 133,740 South Korean adults (89,050 men, 44,690 women) who participated in the 1990 and 1992 examinations of the Korea Medical Insurance Corporation Study. Average BMI at baseline was 23.4 (standard deviation, 2.3) in men and 22.3 (standard deviation, 2.3) in women. After multivariate adjustment, there was a 14% (95% confidence interval: 12, 16) increased risk of incident IHD per unit of increase in BMI. This trend was also observed within the range considered normal by Western standards, and a BMI of 24–<25 was associated with an IHD hazard ratio of 2.01 (95% confidence interval: 1.32, 3.05) in comparison with a BMI of 18–<19. The association of BMI with IHD in this cohort of relatively young South Korean men and women was progressive over the range of BMI values, with no threshold of change in risk and no indication of a U-shaped relation at low BMI levels.

Keywords: Asian continental ancestry group; body mass index; body weight; myocardial ischemia; obesity; BMI, body mass index; CI, confidence interval; KMIC, Korea Medical Insurance Corporation

Journal Article.  3860 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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