Objective: We aimed to characterize metabolic status by body mass index (BMI) status. Methods: The CRONICAS longitudinal study was performed in an age-and-sex stratified random sample of participants aged 35 years or older in four Peruvian settings: Lima (Peru's capital, costal urban, highly urbanized), urban and rural Puno (both high-altitude), and Tumbes (costal semirural). Data from the baseline study, conducted in 2010, was used. Individuals were classified by BMI as normal weight (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25.0-29.9 kg/m2), and obese (≥30 kg/m2), and as metabolically healthy (0-1 metabolic abnormality) or metabolically unhealthy (≥2 abnormalities). Abnormalities included individual components of the metabolic syndrome, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and insulin resistance. Results: A total of 3088 (age 55.6±12.6 years, 51.3%females) had all measurements. Of these, 890 (28.8%), 1361 (44.1%) and 837 (27.1%) were normal weight, overweight and obese, respectively. Overall, 19.0%of normal weight in contrast to 54.9%of overweight and 77.7%of obese individuals had ≥3 risk factors (p<0.001). Among normal weight individuals, 43.1% were metabolically unhealthy, and age ≥65 years, female, and highest socioeconomic groups were more likely to have this pattern. In contrast, only 16.4%of overweight and 3.9% of obese individuals were metabolically healthy and, compared to Lima, the rural and urban sites in Puno were more likely to have a metabolically healthier profile. Conclusions: Most Peruvians with overweight and obesity have additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as well as a majority of those with a healthy weight. Prevention programs aimed at individuals with a normal BMI, and those who are overweight and obese, are urgently needed, such as screening for elevated fasting cholesterol and glucose.
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