Anthropometric measurements of general and central obesity and the prediction of cardiovascular disease risk in women: a cross-sectional study
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Objectives: It is important to ascertain which anthropometric measurements of obesity, general or central, are better predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in women. 10-year CVD risk was calculated from the Framingham risk score model, SCORE risk chart for high-risk regions, general CVD and simplified general CVD risk score models. Increase in CVD risk associated with 1 SD increment in each anthropometric measurement above the mean was calculated, and the diagnostic utility of obesity measures in identifying participants with increased likelihood of being above the treatment threshold was assessed. Design: Cross-sectional data from the National Heart Foundation Risk Factor Prevalence Study. Setting: Population-based survey in Australia. Participants: 4487 women aged 20–69 years without heart disease, diabetes or stroke. Outcome measures: Anthropometric obesity measures that demonstrated the greatest increase in CVD risk as a result of incremental change, 1 SD above the mean, and obesity measures that had the greatest diagnostic utility in identifying participants above the respective treatment thresholds of various risk score models.Results: Waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-stature ratio had larger effects on increased CVD risk compared with body mass index (BMI). These central obesity measures also had higher sensitivity and specificity in identifying women above and below the 20% treatment threshold than BMI. Central obesity measures also recorded better correlations with CVD risk compared with general obesity measures. WC and WHR were found to be significant and independent predictors of CVD risk, as indicated by the high area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (>0.76), after controlling for BMI in the simplified general CVD risk score model. Conclusions: Central obesity measures are better predictors of CVD risk compared with general obesity measures in women. It is equally important to maintain a healthy weight and to prevent central obesity concurrently.
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