Waist circumference and all-cause mortality

January 01, 0001

Waist circumference and all-cause mortality

These US authors examined the association between waist circumference (WC) and mortality among 48,500 men and 56,343 women, 50 years or older, in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. A total of 9315 men and 5332 women died between 1997 and the end of follow-up in 2006.

They found: "After adjustment for BMI and other risk factors, very high levels of WC were associated with an approximately 2-fold higher risk of mortality in men and women (among men, RR = 2.02 for WC 120 cm compared with less than 90 cm; among women, RR = 2.36 WC 110 cm compared with less than 75 cm). The WC was positively associated with mortality within all categories of BMI. In men, a 10-cm increase in WC was associated with RRs of 1.16, 1.18, and 1.21 within normal (18.5 to less than 25), overweight (25 to less than 30), and obese (30 or more) BMI categories, respectively. In women, corresponding RRs were 1.25, 1.15, and 1.13."

The authors concluded: "These results emphasize the importance of WC as a risk factor for mortality in older adults, regardless of BMI."

The effect is statistically significant, but small.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Intern Med 170(15):1293-1301, 9/23 August 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Waist Circumference and All-Cause Mortality in a Large US Cohort. Eric J. Jacobs, Christina C. Newton, Yiting Wang, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Jacobs: [email protected]

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: waist circumference, body mass index, BMI, mortality, cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 24 August 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.