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Public Health Nutr. 2017 Jun;20(8):1343-1350. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016003566. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Hypertension and diabetes prevalence among adults with moderately increased BMI (23·0-24·9 kg/m2): findings from a nationwide survey in Bangladesh.

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School of Public Health,The University of Queensland,Level 2,Public Health Building,Herston,QLD 4006,Australia.



BMI is a proxy for fat accumulation in the body. Increased diabetes and CVD risks have been observed for Asian populations at lower BMI than the WHO-recommended BMI cut-off points for overweight (≥25·0 kg/m2) and obesity (≥30·0 kg/m2). The current study aimed to quantify the increased hypertension (HTN) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) prevalence in Bangladeshi adults with moderately increased BMI (23·0-24·9 kg/m2).


Data from the most recent Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (2011) were analysed. Modified Poisson regression models with robust error variance were used to calculate prevalence ratios (PR) for HTN or T2DM by BMI category, considering BMI=18·5-22·9 kg/m2 as the reference. All analyses incorporated the complex sampling design of the survey.


BMI, blood pressure, blood sugar and related information were collected from a nationally representative sample.


Adults (n 7433) aged≥35 years.


About 12 % of Bangladeshi adults, both male and female, were within the BMI range 23·0-24·9 kg/m2 or moderately overweight. Compared with the reference BMI group (18·5-22·9 kg/m2), they had an increased PR for HTN (1·55-1·77) and T2DM (1·54-1·93). These increased PR are similar to those for the WHO-defined overweight group (BMI=25·0-29·9 kg/m2).


Our findings support the recommendation that calls for setting the optimum BMI for Asian populations to 18·5-23·0 kg/m2 for health promotion and for public health interventions like leisure-time physical activity. WHO cut-off points for overweight (≥25 kg/m2) should be used to facilitate international comparisons.


BMI; Diabetes; Hypertension; Overweight; Policy; Public health

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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