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Obesity and Risk of Heart Disease
Obesity and Waist Circumference as Risk Factors for Heart Disease
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Obesity Risk & Heart

Obesity in 70-Year-Old Subjects as a Risk Factor for 15-Year Coronary Heart Disease Incidence

Obesity-Heart Study - Aim
To investigate the role of obesity in general and waist circumference (WC) and BMI in particular as risk factors for 15-year incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the elderly.

Obesity-Heart Study - Methods
This prospective study was based on 1597 (737 males and 860 females) 70-year-olds free from CHD and participants of three birth cohorts examined in 1971 to 1972 (Cohort I), 1976 to 1977 (Cohort II), and 1981 to 1982 (Cohort III) at Göteborg, Sweden. Fifteen-year incidence of CHD (fatal and nonfatal) was ascertained from follow-up examinations and registers. Relative risk (RR) for first ever CHD in reference to the lowest quartiles of waist circumference and BMI was calculated from Cox regression.

Obesity-Heart Study - Results
In males, RRs for CHD in the highest waist circumference and BMI quartiles were 1.36 [95 percent confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.85] and 1.42 (95 percent CI 1.04 to 1.92), respectively, after adjustment for cohorts, smoking habits, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, and total cholesterol. In men, the risk associated with waist circumference was independent of BMI. Neither waist circumference nor BMI was related to CHD risk in females. After exclusion of first 5-year all-cause deaths, the adjusted RRs in the highest waist circumference and BMI quartiles in males were 1.47 (95 percent CI 1.06 to 2.04) and 1.42 (1.04 to 1.92), respectively. In females, a significantly higher RR of 1.41 (95 percent CI 1.02 to 1.94) was observed in the second BMI quartile only after such exclusions.

Obesity-Heart Study - Issues
Waist circumference, an indicator of both central and general obesity, appears to be a stronger predictor of CHD than BMI in elderly males, but in females, obesity was not a risk factor for CHD.

Source: Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. 2003

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