Implications of obesity for cardiovascular disease in blacks: The CARDIA and ARIC studies

Aaron R Folsom, G. L. Burke, C. L. Byers, R. G. Hutchinson, G. Heiss, J. M. Flack, David R Jacobs Jr, B. Caan

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117 Scopus citations


To examine the relation of obesity to cardiovascular disease in blacks, we analyzed data from two population studies, including young and middle-aged adults. Obesity, defined by using the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfold measurements, was positively associated with atherogenic plasma lipids, systolic blood pressure, serum glucose and insulin, and prevalence of diabetes mellitus. The strength of these associations, for the most part, was similar in blacks and whites. However, with each unit increase in sum of skinfold thicknesses, plasma triglyceride concentrations in blacks appeared to increase only one-third to one-half as much as in whites. Prevalence of cardiovascular disease in 45- to 65-y-old blacks was associated with obesity; the odds ratio (95% confidence interval), adjusted for age and cigarette smoking, was 1.3 (0.9, 1.8) in both black men and black women. Additional analyses showed that abdominal adiposity conferred increased risk. These findings suggest that both blacks and whites should avoid excess adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1604S-1611S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1991


  • Blacks
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Obesity


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