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Observational study of the status of coronary risk biomarkers among Negritos with metabolic syndrome in the east coast of Malaysia

05 Dec 2018


To determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS), ascertain the status of coronary risk biomarkers and establish the independent predictors of these biomarkers among the Negritos.


Health screening programme conducted in three inland settlements in the east coast of Malaysia and Peninsular Malaysia.


150 Negritos who were still living in three inland settlements in the east coast of Malaysia and 1227 Malays in Peninsular Malaysia. These subjects were then categorised into MS and non-MS groups based on the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) consensus worldwide definition of MS and were recruited between 2010 and 2015. The subjects were randomly selected and on a voluntary basis.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

This study was a cross-sectional study. Serum samples were collected for analysis of inflammatory (hsCRP), endothelial activation (sICAM-1) and prothrombogenesis [lp(a)] biomarkers.


MS was significantly higher among the Malays compared with Negritos (27.7%vs12.0%). Among the Malays, MS subjects had higher hsCRP (p=0.01) and sICAM-1 (p<0.05) than their non-MS counterpart. There were no significant differences in all the biomarkers between MS and the non-MS Negritos. However, when compared between ethnicity, all biomarkers were higher in Negritos compared with Malays (p<0.001). Binary logistic regression analysis affirmed that Negritos were an independent predictor for Lp(a) concentration (p<0.001).


This study suggests that there may possibly be a genetic influence other than lifestyle, which could explain the lack of difference in biomarkers concentration between MS and non-MS Negritos and for Negritos predicting Lp(a).

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open