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Waist Size Determines Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Waist measurement values seen as effective as body mass index

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Waist circumference is effective in determining the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, and is as effective as body mass index (BMI) in identifying individuals with cardiovascular risk factors, according to the results of a study published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Marno C. Ryan, M.D., and colleagues from Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., examined the association between waist circumference and BMI and cardiovascular disease risk factors (blood pressure, glucose, lipid components of metabolic syndrome, and insulin-mediated glucose uptake) in 402 healthy volunteers. Waist circumference was defined according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III).

The researchers found a significant correlation between waist circumference and BMI, which were associated with insulin-mediated glucose uptake in men and women. The prevalence and characteristics of metabolic syndrome were similar regardless of the waist circumference measure used (ATP III or IDF). Cardiovascular risk factors were similar based on either waist circumference or BMI.

"In conclusion, prevalences of metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular disease risk factors did not vary as a function of differences in IDF and ATP III criteria for waist circumference," Ryan and colleagues write. "BMI identified individuals at increased cardiovascular disease risk as effectively as determination of waist circumference."

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