Race and Ethnicity Important When Evaluating Risk of Fat Around the Heart

Medical Xpress, September 9, 2014

A man’s likelihood of accumulating fat around his heart–an important indicator of heart disease risk–may be better determined if doctors consider his race and ethnicity, as well as where on his body he’s building up excess fat, reveals an international evaluation led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

The findings, published online today in the International Journal of Obesity, indicate that it may be useful to take racial and ethnic differences into account when designing programs to reduce obesity because what works for one man might not be as beneficial for another. This analysis was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“If you are an African American man and carry excess weight mainly around the mid-section, then you have a higher likelihood of more fat around the heart than if you gain weight fairly evenly throughout your body,” said lead author Samar R. El Khoudary, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in Pitt Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology.

“But the reverse is true for Koreans–their heart disease risk is greater with overall weight gain. Knowing this can help doctors specify the right physical training for each racial ethnic group to reduce their heart disease risk.”

Dr. El Khoudary’s analysis relied on data from the “Electron-Beam Tomography, Risk Factor Assessment Among Japanese and U.S. Men in the Post-World War II Birth Cohort Study,” also known as the ERA JUMP study. It is a population-based study of men enrolled between 2002 and 2006 who were ages 40 to 49 and free of cardiovascular disease, type-1 diabetes and other severe diseases at the time of enrollment.

The recent analysis took a closer look at 1,199 men in the study who were white or black from Allegheny County, Japanese-American from Hawaii, Japanese or Korean.

The study looked at the amount of fat around the heart called ectopic cardiovascular fat. Higher volumes of this fat are associated with greater risk of heart disease.

For white men, an increase in body mass index, or BMI, which is a measure of overall body fat, and abdominal fat are equally likely to indicate an increase in fat around the heart.

Compared to white men:

  • Black men who carry disproportionally more weight around their mid-section are at similar risk of having more fat around their hearts. Increases in BMI have lower impact.
  • Japanese and Japanese American men are also at similar risk of having more fat around their hearts if they have more fat in their abdomens, with BMI having less of an impact.
  • Korean men with higher BMIs have a higher likelihood of fat around the heart, whereas abdominal fat matters less.

“What we now need to determine is whether concentrating efforts to reduce overall body fat or fat in the abdomen will actually decrease fat around the heart more in people of certain racial or ethnic groups,” said Dr. El Khoudary.

“Such a long-term evaluation could help in designing race-specific heart disease prevention strategies.”

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  • MekongDelta69

    I’m sure they’ll blame this on us too.

    To these people, everything bad in this world is our ‘fault.’

    • Ike Eichenberg

      Africants are “stressed” out by white racism and that’s why they have more heart disease.
      The diet high in fried chicken, washed down with carbonated and malt beverages has nothing to do with it.

      • APaige

        Yes. Also ectopic cardiovascular fat is social construct.

      • Samuel Hathaway

        As someone who works for a black-worshipping corporate giant, I work with blacks whose weight seems to approach 400 lbs or more. I already know one black male who admitted to me his weight is 320 lbs. I over heard another black woman admit she weighs 222 lbs, and she was only 24 yrs. old. They order chili-dogs, Chinese take out, Mexican, Waffle House, McDonalds, and all that slop for breakfast and lunch, day in and day out.

        • Rhialto

          Hoarding body fat was of high survival value in pre-technological Africa.

      • Stan D Mute

        Yes, it’s stress from “Racism!” and it’s poverty that makes them buy lower price and unhealthier foods. Please ignore purchases of lobster with EBT cards and the fact that high-fat processed foods cost more than healthier whole foods. Rule One for all status seeking white retards is to ignore nonsense like “facts” and “logic” which are nothing more than tools of oppression for evil racists.

        • Ike Eichenberg

          I agree, you can buy a pound of grass fed organic beef and a couple of healthy side vegetables and/or salad for less that the cost of a couple of crappy TV dinners and a 2 liter of coke.

          It’s not any harder to cook beef than it is to microwave a frozen meal.

    • Sloppo

      it IS our fault. If we didn’t feed them and they were starving, their obesity problems would be much less common.

    • me

      But, it really was a ‘White’ man this time…

  • JackKrak

    So, uh, there are differences among people from various racial backgrounds, eh? Hmm, interesting. Why don’t you keep expanding on that idea, Dr. Muslim?

    • Stan D Mute

      I’d bet money that “Dr Muslim” harbors no fantasies about racial “equality”. Just like every really smart African I’ve ever known, Asians are FAR more race-realist than brainwashed whites. Go count the number of Asians living in African neighborhoods – go ahead, I’ll wait right here. Back? Yes? And you found Zero? Right then, well it seems Asians know enough to avoid Africans like the Ebola virus and only use the “Racism!” trick to stampede cowardly white sheeple into granting Asians special racial goodies from the public treasury. Smart Asians..

  • DaveMed

    It is well known that Blacks suffer from metabolic syndrome (and its sequelae) at a higher rate than that of Whites and Asians.

  • dd121

    Fat be racisss.


    Well well, looks like we have another “Scientific Racist” on our hands here boys. That’s right, this so called “Doctor”, -< Pshhhh, yeah right, what he do study Human Biology like those fake "Doctors" who go around performing useless task like Heart Transplants and Brain Surgeries? ) – is out here pretending that the Social Scientist, you know, the real Doctors of the world. Haven't already declared "race" to be nothing more than a Social Construct. So let me see what this "Doctor's" name is here,,,, and,,,,,,, uh yes here it is,,,, one "Dr. El Khoudary". Ah-hah, a typical White Supremacist name too, eh? Nice try Whitey, but it's not happening, we're too smart for your Scientific Racism! –

    Sincerely, The Social Science Faculty Of Every University In The Country

  • JohnEngelman

    Death by heart attack is only a social construct.

  • 1stworlder

    So they are saying east Asians are the opposite of blacks just like violent crime.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    Fat. Obesity, and black women.
    The blacks I work with are grossly, grossly obese. Two black women I work with are so, so FAT, that they cannot walk up the steps to the break room. One appears to be approaching 400 lbs, the other close to 300 lbs. They waddle from side to side, moving a slow as sloths, talk about Sarah Palin like a dog and are in love with Obama.
    So, I’m glad they’re FAT.

    • shmo123

      I’ve banged on this drum before, but I can’t resist putting in my two cents again. It’s their diets, plain and simple. For most people, fried chicken (fish, whatever) and other greasy fair is an occasional indulgence and can be pretty tasty. For black folk, ( and I have no stats to back this up, just my own two eyes) it’s gotta be common fair. Look at “soul” food: deep fried this and that, mashed potatoes, gravy made from drippings– even the greens are slathered in bacon fat. When that’s not on the menu, McDonalds will often suffice. Eat that 7 times a week and see what it does to you.
      When every other business the hood has been boarded up and closed, there’s a reason that Popeye’s friend chicken is still doing business next to the check cashing place.

      • Alexandra1973

        It’s not saturated fat that does it (lard, believe it or not, is good for you), it’s the vegetable oils. It’s not that it’s deep fried–my question would be, what’s it deep-fried in? If it’s Crisco, then no wonder.

        No matter how you slice it, though, they go for the junk.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    “What we now need to determine is whether concentrating efforts to reduce overall body fat or fat in the abdomen will actually decrease fat around the heart more in people of certain racial or ethnic groups,” said Dr. El Khoudary.”

    Hmmm, as I understand it, the only way to reduce fat in the abdomen is to reduce overall body fat. “Spot reducing” does NOT work. At least, that’s according to all the fitness advice I have read. If they want to reduce, blacks must do it the same way as whites: get off their butts and exercise more.

  • none of your business

    mea culpa mea culpa mea culpa

  • none of your business

    Samuel Hathaway
    Do they ever have potlucks? I worked with a bunch of blacks who had potlucks a couple times a month. It was like Christmas dinner at an army dining hall.

  • none of your business

    Samuel Hathaway
    In that job where they had all the potlucks there were a couple of 400 pounders who had to sort of lurch sideways when walking. Their thighs were so fat and stomachs hung so low they actually could not walk forward.

  • Chris

    Great , Fat is “racist”.

    I’ll put that on the “All Things Racist” list.

    1. White people
    2. Water
    3. Fire
    4. Gravity
    5. Cancer
    6. Disease-particularly STD’s
    7. Math
    8. Working
    9. Credit
    10. Monthly Bills
    11. Climate Change
    12. FAT- A.K.A- Obesity
    sigh 🙁