The purposes of this study were to (1) describe anthropometric measures among Korean immigrants with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and (2) examine the relationships between measures of obesity with several forms of dyslipidemia in this group.
Obesity and dyslipidemia are commonly associated with T2DM, and they are risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), the leading cause of death for people with diabetes. Asians are predisposed to abdominal obesity and experience significant CHD risk at lower body mass index (BMI) levels. Despite high prevalence of diabetes among Korean immigrants, relationships among anthropometric measures and lipid-related CHD risk factors have not been examined.
A convenience sample of 143 adult Korean immigrants with T2DM between the ages of 30 and 80 years participated in the study. Body mass index, waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were obtained using standardized procedures. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were assessed using a fingerstick blood test. Hierarchical linear regressions were conducted to identify which of the anthropometric measures was significantly related to individuals' cholesterol levels.
Central obesity measures, not BMI, were significantly associated with dyslipidemia in Korean immigrants with T2DM independent of potential confounds such as hemoglobin A1C, cigarette smoking, age, and cholesterol medication. Different central obesity measures were associated with different cholesterol types for diabetic Korean men and women. In men, WHR was positively associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. In women, WC was negatively associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Central obesity measures (WC and WHR) are better indicators for assessing lipid-related CHD risk factor among Korean immigrants with T2DM than BMI. Gender difference in the association between central obesity measures and lipid types should be considered in CHD risk assessment of Korean immigrants with T2DM.