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Metabolically healthy obese and metabolically unhealthy non-obese phenotypes in a Russian population



The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of metabolically healthy obese (MHO) and metabolically unhealthy non-obese (MUNO) phenotypes in Russian population.

Design and methods

In cross-sectional epidemiology survey “Epidemiology of cardiovascular diseases and its risk factors in some regions of the Russian Federation” a random sampling of 21,121 subjects (25–65 years), stratified by age and sex was involved. Anthropometry, blood pressure (BP) measurement and fasting blood-tests (glucose, lipids) were performed according to standard protocols. Criteria for MHO—body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2 and ≤2 of markers: HDL < 1.30 (females)/1.04 (males) mmol/l; triglycerides ≥1.7 mmol/l; glucose ≥5.6 mmol/l or treatment; waist >88 (females)/102 (males) cm and BP ≥ 130/85 mm Hg or therapy. Criteria for MUNO was BMI < 30 kg/m2 and ≥2 markers listed above. Simple tabulations, descriptive statistics, post-stratification weights and logistic regression were used for analyses.


MHO phenotype was detected in 2856 (41.5%) obese people; MUNO phenotype—in 4762 (34.4%) non-obese subjects. Aging was negatively associated with MHO and positively with MUNO prevalence. Gender was registered as determinant only of MUNO probability. No dramatic differences in lifestyle risk factors between 3 BMI groups (lean, overweight, obese) were found out.


Half of obese Russian inhabitants are metabolically healthy. At the same time, metabolic abnormalities were detected in one third of non-obese participants with a shift to male gender.

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Correspondence to Oxana Rotar.

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Rotar, O., Boyarinova, M., Orlov, A. et al. Metabolically healthy obese and metabolically unhealthy non-obese phenotypes in a Russian population. Eur J Epidemiol 32, 251–254 (2017).

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  • Obesity
  • Metabolic health
  • Metabolically healthy obesity
  • Russian population