Obesity and non-communicable disease in Malaysia: an imaging study of 6000 adults in the Malaysian Cohort Study

The Malaysian Cohort in a joint collaboration with the University of Oxford (provide link to Oxford write up on the project) will be recruited recruiting 6000 of participants to undergo whole body Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) imaging on to study body fat and its distribution in addition to body fat percentage. By using DXA imaging protocols established by the UK Biobank, this study will reliably assess the relationship between conventional measures for estimating body composition (including BMI, waist circumference and waist-hip ratio) with the absolute regional fat masses derived from the DXA measurements. It will then assess the relationship between these measures and risk of diabetes and known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The results will be used to inform public health guidance on the appropriate measure of excess body fat in this Malaysian population, the ideal ‘normal’ range of these measures, and whether guidance should vary for the different ethnic groups in Malaysia. Blood sampling from the particpants will also significantly enhance the potential of The Malaysia Cohort to investigate the genetic and environmental determinants of obesity in Malaysia, and the biological pathways through which it causes diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All the participant’s data will be anonymous anonymised and strictly protected under Data Protection Law enforced in UK under GDPR (human data) since 2018 (provide link to data protection law). This study is has already obtained approved approvals by from the Research Ethics Committee for UKM (REC UKM) UKM and the University of Oxford’s ethics Tropical Research Ethics Ccommittee (OxTREC).

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