Waist circumference action levels in the identification of cardiovascular risk factors: Prevalence study in a random sample

T.S. Han, E M van Leer, J. C. Seidell, M.E.J. Lean

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine the frequency of cardiovascular risk factors in people categorised by previously defined “action g126 levels” of waist circumference. Design: Prevalence study in a random population sample. Setting: Netherlands. Subjects: 2183 men and 2698 women aged 20-59 years selected at random from the civil registry of Amsterdam and Maastricht. Main outcome measures: Waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, body mass index (weight (kg)/height (m2)), total plasma cholesterol concentration, high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, blood pressure, age, and lifestyle. Results: A waist circumference exceeding 94 cm in men and 80 cm in women correctly identified subjects with body mass index of >/=25 and waist to hip ratios >/=0.95 in men and >/=0.80 in women with a sensitivity and specificity of >/=96%. Men and women with at least one cardiovascular risk factor (total cholesterol >/=6.5 mmol/l, high density lipoprotein cholesterol </=0.9 mmol/l, systolic blood pressure >/=160 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure >/=95 mm Hg) were identified with sensitivities of 57% and 67% and specificities of 72% and 62% respectively. Compared with those with waist measurements below action levels, age and lifestyle adjusted odds ratios for having at least one risk factor were 2.2 (95% confidence interval 1.8 to 2.8) in men with a waist measurement of 94-102 cm and 1.6 (1.3 to 2.1) in women with a waist measurement of 80-88 cm. In men and women with larger waist measurements these age and lifestyle adjusted odds ratios were 4.6 (3.5 to 6.0) and 2.6 (2.0 to 3.2) respectively. Conclusions: Larger waist circumference identifies people at increased cardiovascular risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1401-5
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ
Volume311
Issue number7017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 1995

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hypertension
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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