Sex differences in obesity prevalence and cardiometabolic factors among Western Alaska Native people

S. E. Hopkins, M. A. Austin, J. S. Metzger, K. R. Koller, J. G. Umans, C. Kaufmann, A. W. Wolfe, B. V. Howard, B. B. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background and aims: Obesity is associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Prevalence estimates for metabolic disorders are well documented in many populations, but Alaska Native groups are understudied. The Western Alaska Tribal Collaborative for Health Study combines data from three Alaska Native study cohorts to assess differences in obesity prevalence and associations with cardiometabolic risk factors by sex. Methods and results: Analyses were based upon a sample of 3985 adult Yup'ik and Inupiat participants with a mean age of 40 years. Prevalence of obesity and metabolic risk factors was assessed according to nationally recognized guidelines. Regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors, including lipids, blood pressure and glucose. The prevalence of obesity (BMI≥30) was significantly higher in women (40%) than men (20%). Only 18.6% of men had a waist circumference (WC)>102cm, while 58% of women had a WC>88cm (p<0.001). Women had higher mean HDL-C and triglyceride levels compared to men, while systolic and diastolic blood pressure, LDL-C, and glucose means were higher in men than in women. In multivariate analyses, BMI and WC were significantly associated with all of the cardiometabolic risk factors, although these associations were more pronounced in men than women. Conclusion: The high prevalence of obesity and central adiposity among AN women is an important public health concern. Differences in associations between obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors by sex warrants further investigation to develop effective intervention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alaska Native
  • Cardiometabolic
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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