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Waist-Height Ratio Linked to Cardiovascular Risk

Last Updated: September 07, 2009.

The waist-to-height ratio may be useful in detecting central obesity and its related cardiovascular risk factors in normal-weight adults, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

MONDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The waist-to-height ratio may be useful in detecting central obesity and its related cardiovascular risk factors in normal-weight adults, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Sathanur R. Srinivasan, Ph.D., of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and colleagues analyzed data from 639 young to middle-aged African-American and Caucasian adults with a normal weight based on body mass index. Of these, 65 were classified as having central obesity, based on having a waist-to-height ratio of ≥0.5.

Compared to the others, the researchers found that those with central obesity were 1.9, 2.2, 2.9, and 2.5 times more likely to have significantly higher levels of mean arterial pressure, triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein, respectively. Subjects with central obesity also had higher common carotid intima-media thickness -- a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis -- compared to the others (0.76 versus 0.71 millimeters).

"In conclusion, the results of the present study have underscored the utility of the waist-to-height ratio in detecting asymptomatic normal-weight younger adults with central obesity and related adverse cardiometabolic risk factors and their burden on subclinical atherosclerosis. These observations have implications for preventive cardiology," the authors write.

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