November 13, 2018
1 min read

Metabolic syndrome, CVD risk more prevalent in black adults with obesity

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Black adults are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and, as a result, are at higher risk than white adults for cardiovascular disease, according to data presented at the ObesityWeek annual meeting.

Heidi J. Silver

Heidi J. Silver, RD, MS, PhD, an associate professor at Vanderbilt Center for Human Nutrition, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and colleagues examined electronic medical records of adults treated at Vanderbilt Medical Center from 1997 to 2017, paying special attention to BMI, lab values, clinical phenotypes and cardiometabolic outcomes.

The researchers found that regardless of age and BMI, black adults were 25% to 50% more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than white adults, depending on levels of obesity. Specifically, black adults with obesity (n = 32,051) were 50% more likely than white adults with obesity (n = 181,207) to develop metabolic syndrome (P < .0001).

Not only was metabolic syndrome more prevalent in the entire study population (n = 727,000) of black adults, but it was often linked to uncontrolled hypertension, whereas uncontrolled lipids played a larger role in its development in white adults. Dyslipidemia was, therefore, more likely in white adults of any weight distinction vs. black adults, but the researchers noted that medication for the condition was also more prevalent in the white adult population.

“The finding that metabolic syndrome is driven more by dyslipidemia in whites and by blood pressure in blacks provides physicians with information as to what to focus on for a treatment target in a specific population group,” Silver told Endocrine Today. “The finding that metabolic syndrome is present in all BMI groups and all age groups also informs physicians to consider these risk factors in their younger and lower body weight patients — who may not appear to be at risk.” – by Phil Neuffer


Silver H, et al. T-P-3068. Presented at: ObesityWeek; Nov. 11-15, 2018; Nashville, Tenn.

Disclosure: Silver reports that the study was funded by the American Heart Association, Obesity SFRN and BioVU by NIH grants.