Body Mass Index Cut-Off For Identifying Non-Communicable Diseases in Malaysia

Evi Diana Omar, Kee Chee Cheong, Azli Baharudin, Jayvikramjit Singh Manjit Singh, Syamimi I, Mohd Azahadi Omar
2020 Zenodo  
Introduction Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are among the leading causes of death and contributes to approximately 70% of all deaths worldwide. Elevated body mass index (BMI) is recognized as a major risk factor for NCDs. Several studies have determined various BMI cut-offs for classifying dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes or at least one cardiovascular risk factor (CRF) 2,3,4 . • For Malaysian adults, the proposed optimal BMI cut-off points for the risk of diabetes mellitus, hypertension
more » ... tus, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia varied from 23.34kg/m2 to 24.14kg/m2 for men and from 24.04kg/m2 to 25.4kg/m2 for women3 . However, they were determined based on data collected in 2006, more than a decade ago. Objective The aim of this study is to verify the sensitivity and specificity of these cut-off points for the Malaysian adult population using data from a recent national survey Methods [Refer to Results]. Results The total number of respondents aged ≥ 18 years was 10,472 (4785 males and 5687 females). Majority aged between 31 to 59 years. 51.0% Malay, 21.5% Chinese, 11.1% Other bumiputras, 10.6% other ethnic groups and 5.8% Indian. The prevalence of BMI above 23.0 kg/m2 was 66.0% (BMI range from 14kg/m2 to 55kg/m2). Discussion / Conclusion Our findings indicate that the proposed BMI cut-offs (23.3 to 24.1 kg/m2 for men and 24.0 to 25.4 kg/m2 for women) correctly identified more than 67% of those with NCDs and correctly identified more than 39% of those without. The BMI cut-off points proposed by the previous study showed acceptable sensitivity but relatively low specificity. Therefore, we suggest that the use of these proposed BMI cut-offs for classification of overweight among Malaysian adults should be revised periodically to increase its sensitivity and specificity for the NCDs screening and weight management programs.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.4019780 fatcat:yraffewkbngcfgopfsl3kr7t4u