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Hypertriglyceridemic waist may explain ethnic differences in hypertension among patients with type 2 diabetes in Sweden

Marina Taloyan12*, Nuha Saleh-Stattin1, Sven-Erik Johansson13, Lars Agréus1 and Per Wändell1

Author Affiliations

1 Karolinska Institutet, Centre for Family and Community Medicine, Alfred Nobels allé 12, Huddinge, SE, 141 83, Sweden

2 Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

3 Centre for Primary Health Care Research, Region Skåne, Lund University, Malmö, UMAS, 205 02, Sweden

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:474  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-474

Published: 31 August 2012



Hypertension is common among persons with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between ethnicity and hypertension prevalence after adjusting for age, sex, Hba1c, total cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and hypertriglyceridemic waist. The study population consisted of 354 primary health care patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (173 Assyrians/Syrians and 181 Swedes) residing in Södertälje, Sweden. Unconditional logistic regression was used to analyze the data.


Hypertension prevalence was higher among Swedes than Assyrians/Syrians, (77% versus 58%; p = 0.001). In the unadjusted logistic regression model, the odds ratio for hypertension in Swedes was twice as high than that in Assyrians/Syrians (OR = 2.44; 95% CI =1.54-3.86). In the age- and sex-adjusted model, odds ratio of hypertension was 2.25 (95% CI 1.41-3.60). After adjustments for total cholesterol was made, the odds ratio of hypertension decreased slightly to 1.73. When elevated triglycerides and hypertriglyceridemic waist were separately introduced, the odds ratio of hypertension was no longer significant between the ethnic groups (1.60 and 1.43 for triglycerides and hypertriglyceridemic waist respectively). In addition, advanced age – 60–69 years old (OR = 1.80, CI 95% 1.00-3.20) and ≥ 70 years old (OR = 2.88, CI 95% 1.40-5.93), elevated total cholesterol (OR = 1.48, CI 95% 1.12-1.95) and presents of hypertriglyceridemic waist (those with high WC and high TG) were significant confounding factors for the increased risk of hypertension independent of ethnicity.


The crude differences in prevalence of hypertension between the Swedes and Assyrians/Syrians in our study population with type 2 diabetes were no longer significant when adjusting for high triglycerides levels or the presence of hypertriglyceridemic waist.

Ethnicity; Hypertension; Hypertriglyceridemic waist; Type 2 diabetes; Sweden