Prevalence of overweight and obesity in a rural southern Italy population and relationships with total and cardiovascular mortality: The Ventimiglia di Sicilia project

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OBJECTIVE: We investigated the prevalence of overweight and obesity and their relationships with the main cardiovascular risk factors in the population of Ventimiglia di Sicilia, a rural village in Southern Italy characterized by low cholesterol levels and by a low incidence of early coronary heart disease mortality. We related all deaths to body weight and fat distribution during an 8 y follow-up. DESIGN: Cross-sectional and prospective observational study. SUBJECTS: A total of 835 free-living individuals, 363 males and 472 females, of age between 20 and 69 y. MEASUREMENTS: In all participants body weight, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), cardiovascular risk factors and plasma lipids were measured. During the follow-up, total and cardiovascular deaths were registered. RESULTS: We found a high overall prevalence of subjects with overweight or obesity (respectively 45.0% and 27.7%), with great differences among classes of age. As expected, body weight and fat distribution were associated with diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia and with a worsening of lipid profile. During the follow-up we registered 37 total and 11 cardiovascular deaths. All-cause and cardiovascular mortality risks were, respectively, 1.64 (95% CI 0.65-4.15) and 2.71 (95% CI 0.29-25.26) in subjects with a body mass index (BMI) of 27-29.99 kg/m2 and 2.45 (95% CI 1.03-5.87) and 5.36 (95% CI 1.41-62.01) in subjects with a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2 in comparison with participants with a BMI of < 27 kg/m2, and 3.48 (95% CI 1.46-8.30) and 4.55 (95% CI 1.12-18.40) in subjects with a WHR higher than the median in comparison with individuals with a WHR lower than the median. CONCLUSION: The Ventimiglia di Sicilia Study highlights the great importance of overweight and obesity as a public health issue in a rural population and indicates that it is necessary to consider the impact of body weight and fat distribution on both total and CHD mortality.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)185-190
Numero di pagine6
RivistaInternational Journal of Obesity
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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