Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Sep;74(3):315-21.

Waist and hip circumferences have independent and opposite effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors: the Quebec Family Study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chronic Diseases Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Netherlands. j.seidell@rivm.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A high waist-to-hip ratio is associated with unfavorable cardiovascular disease risk factors. This could be due to either a relatively large waist or a small hip girth.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to define the separate contributions of waist girth, hip girth, and body mass index (BMI) to measures of body composition, fat distribution, and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

DESIGN:

Three-hundred thirteen men and 382 women living in the greater Quebec City area were involved in this cross-sectional study. Percentage body fat, anthropometric measurements, and abdominal fat distribution were obtained and BMI (in kg/m2) and waist-to-hip ratio were calculated. Serum blood lipids were determined from blood samples collected after subjects had fasted overnight

RESULTS:

A large waist circumference in men and women (adjusted for age, BMI, and hip circumference) was associated significantly with low HDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.05) and high fasting triacylglycerol, insulin, and glucose concentrations (P < 0.01). In women alone, a large waist circumference was also associated with high LDL-cholesterol concentrations and blood pressure. A narrow hip circumference (adjusted for age, BMI, and waist circumference) was associated with low HDL-cholesterol and high glucose concentrations in men (P < 0.05) and high triacylglycerol and insulin concentrations in men and women (P < 0.05). Waist and hip girths showed different relations to body fat, fat-free mass, and visceral fat accumulation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Waist and hip circumferences measure different aspects of body composition and fat distribution and have independent and often opposite effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors. A narrow waist and large hips may both protect against cardiovascular disease. These specific effects of each girth measure are poorly captured in the waist-to-hip ratio.

PMID:
11522554
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk