Indices of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors in British women

See Kwok, Patrick McElduff, David W. Ashton, Gordon D O Lowe, D. Wood, Stephen E. Humphries, Valentine Charlton-Menys, Paul N. Durrington

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Obesity increases cardiovascular risk through effects on blood pressure, lipoproteins, coagulation factors and inflammatory cytokines, but in women variation in fat distribution complicates these relationships. Central (maletype or visceral) obesity confers greater risk than the more generalised (female) type. This is recognised by the metabolic syndrome which employs waist circumference rather than body mass index (BMI). We examined the relationships of several indices of fat distribution with cardiovascular risk factors in a large cohort of UK women. Material and Methods: 13,389 female department store employees aged 30-65 years not receiving exogenous hormones completed a health questionnaire. Their blood pressure, weight, height, waist and hip circumference, serum cholesterol low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides, C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma fibrinogen were measured. Results: There was a progressive rise in blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides, fibrinogen and CRP with age. After adjustment for these age effects, BMI was most closely related to blood pressure, whereas the waist to height ratio (WHTR) correlated more closely with the other risk factors than BMI, waist circumference or waist to hip ratio (WHPR). Conclusions: Inclusion of height in the definition of metabolic syndrome will produce a clearer association between waist circumference and cardiovascular risk factors. Hypertension may be linked to the metabolic syndrome by its association with general obesity rather than specifically by central obesity. © 2008 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-195
    Number of pages5
    JournalObesity Facts
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


    • Blood pressure
    • C-reactive protein
    • Fibrinogen
    • High density lipoproteins
    • Low density lipoproteins
    • Obesity
    • Triglycerides


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