The sagittal waist diameter and mortality in men: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging

J C Seidell, R. Andres, J D Sorkin, D C Muller

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The study objective was to determine the relationship between the abdominal sagittal diameter (waist depth) and subsequent mortality. This was a prospective study carried out in 981 male participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging which is a prospective study at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore. The main outcome measures of the study were total and cause-specific mortality occurring during 17,529 person-years. The men were divided by age (cut-off point 55 years) at the start of follow-up. All-cause and coronary heart disease mortality rates (adjusted for age, height and body mass index) increased with increasing sagittal diameter in the younger group but not in the older group. No significant relationship was observed between the sagittal diameter and cancer mortality. Body mass index, skinfolds and waist/hip ratio were not significantly related to any of the endpoints studied. The increased risk of mortality with increasing sagittal diameter was somewhat stronger when the first ten years of follow-up were excluded and was more pronounced at lower levels of risk factors such as serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, plasma glucose and diastolic blood pressure and in never plus ex-smokers compared to smokers. The study indicates that the abdominal sagittal diameter is a strong predictor of mortality in younger adult men independently of age, height, body mass index and conventional risk factors for mortality such as smoking, serum lipids and blood pressure. Regional adiposity may be a less strong risk factor for mortality in older men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-7
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1994


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Constitution
  • Cause of Death
  • Coronary Disease
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Journal Article


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