Waist size determines risk for heart disease

February 23, 2005 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Waist size determines risk for heart disease

According to a recent study the circumference of your waist correlates more closely with several known risk factors for heart disease than does your body mass index (BMI) -- the measure of weight in relation to height.  Researchers found that waist circumference was more strongly tied to cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels than was BMI.

Among men, the circumferences that were equivalent in terms of cardiovascular risk to being overweight or obese were highest for whites, lowest for blacks, and intermediate for Mexican Americans. By contrast, the waist measurement cutoffs among women varied little by ethnicity.

Combining the data from the three ethnic groups, waist measurements of 89 and 101 centimeters (35 and 40 inches) in men conferred a cardiovascular risk comparable to BMIs of 25 (overweight) and 30 (obese).  The waistlines with the corresponding risks for women were 83 and 94 cm (about 33 and 37 ins).

These research findings suggest that waist circumference may be a more accurate indicator of risk for cardiovascular disease than BMI.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.