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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000 Jul;48(7):788-94.

Effect of aging on the relationship between multiple risk factors and waist circumference.

Author information

  • 1National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.



To examine the relationship between various coronary risk factors and the different levels of fat distribution in younger (<65 years) and older (> or = 65 years) men and women, using the classifications proposed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


Cross-sectional study of subjects enrolled in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.


Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, 2-hour glucose, fasting insulin, homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMAIR), triglyceride, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol were measured as risk factors. The proportion of subjects with abnormal risk factor levels by waist circumference classifications was determined in the age and gender subgroups.


There were significant adverse effects of age per se on all risk factors with the exception of fasting insulin and HOMAIR in both men and women, total cholesterol in men, and diastolic blood pressure in women. HDL-cholesterol was higher in older subjects. There were significant correlations between waist circumference and all of the risk factors in the younger group. Waist circumference did not have a significant correlation with total cholesterol in older men, or with total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol in older women. The proportion of subjects with an abnormal risk factor level increased with increasing waist circumference for most risk factors in both younger and older subjects, but proportions of subjects in each individual waist group were higher in older than in younger groups for systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and 2-hour glucose in men, and for systolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, 2-hour glucose, total and LDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride in women.


Our data indicate that the waist circumference cutpoints proposed by NHLBI and WHO standards are useful for the prediction of cardiovascular disease risk factors in older as well as in younger men and women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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