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Can J Cardiol. 2002 Jul;18(7):725-32.

Prevalence of 'hypertriglyceridemic waist' in men who participated in the Quebec Health Survey: association with atherogenic and diabetogenic metabolic risk factors.

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Quebec Heart Institute, Laval Hospital Research Center, Laval University, Sainte-Foy, Québec.



A triad of metabolic markers (high insulin and apolipoprotein B levels, and small, dense, low density lipoprotein particles) is associated with a substantially increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) in men. Also, the simultaneous presence of an elevated waist circumference (90 cm or greater) and moderate hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride concentration 2.0 mmol/L or higher) in men has been shown to be associated with this atherogenic metabolic triad, with a probability of more than 80%.


To quantify the prevalence of the 'hypertriglyceridemic waist' phenotype in a sample of adult men and to compare the metabolic risk profile of nondiabetic men with hypertriglyceridemic waist with the CAD risk profile of patients with type 2 diabetes.


The sample of people who participated in the Quebec Health Survey was used to obtain representative data on the prevalence and distribution of cardiovascular disease risk factors in the Quebec population. Fasting plasma lipoprotein-lipid, insulin and glucose concentrations were measured, and anthropometric measurements were taken in a sample of 907 men.


Among men who participated in the Quebec Health Survey, 19% had an elevated waist circumference (90 cm or greater) plus elevated triglyceride levels (2.0 mmol/L or higher). Men with this hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype were characterized by the highest values for fasting plasma insulin, and the highest total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratios. They also displayed a metabolic risk profile that was deteriorated to the same extent as that of men with diabetes who had participated in the survey.


The results of the the present study of men who participated in the Quebec Health Survey provide further evidence that the simultaneous measurement and interpretation of waist circumference and fasting triglyceride concentrations may improve the physician's ability to identify abdominally obese men with atherogenic and diabetogenic profiles. Furthermore, this high risk clinical phenotype is highly prevalent (about 20%) among adult men.

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