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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1999 Jan;23(1):90-7.

Predictive value of waist-to-hip ratio on cardiovascular risk events.

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  • 1Centre de Médecine Préventive Cardiovasculaire, INSERM CRI, Hôpital Broussais, Paris, France.



A central distribution of adipose tissue is frequently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its risk factors.


Clinical usefulness of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) for predicting the risk of cardiovascular events, estimated with models based on data from the Framingham and Prospective Cardiovascular Münster (PROCAM) studies was evaluated.


These were 552 men and 160 women, asymptomatic and at risk for CVD, aged 30-74 y, recruited from an ongoing risk factor screening program conducted at worksites.


Abdominal fatness was a strong predictor of cardiovascular complications in subjects whose WHR was in the top quintile (> 0.98 for men and > 0.91 for women). The estimated percentage rate of coronary heart disease (CHD, P <0.01) and death (P < 0.01), myocardial infarction (P < 0.01), stroke (P < 0.01), total CVD (P < 0.001) and death (P < 0.01) increased with increasing quintile of WHR in men and women. In the highest WHR, the number of subjects exceeding a 15% risk of developing a coronary event over the next 10 y was more than two-fold greater (odds ratio (OR) 2.60 (confidence intervals (CI) 1.09-6.54) than in the lowest WHR quintiles. Similar six-year myocardial infarction (MI) risks at each quintile of WHR were observed in men in both Framingham and PROCAM models. In the overall population, CHD estimates increased with increasing quintiles of WHR with the Framingham model and an adapted model for estimating probabilities of disease in the French population of the Prevention Cardiovasculaire en Médecine du Travail (PCV-METRA) group.


Abdominal deposition of fat assessed by WHR may be of strong clinical value for predicting high risk of cardiovascular events.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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