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The full report is titled “Normal-Weight Central Obesity: Implications for Total and Cardiovascular Mortality.” It is in the 1 December 2015 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 163, pages 827-835). The authors are K.R. Sahakyan, V.K. Somers, J.P. Rodriguez-Escudero, D.O. Hodge, R.E. Carter, O. Sochor, T. Coutinho, M.D. Jensen, V.L. Roger, P. Singh, and F. Lopez-Jimenez.
This article was published online first at www.annals.org on 10 November 2015.
Normal-Weight Central Obesity and Mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163:I-30. doi: 10.7326/P15-9040
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(11):I-30.
Published at www.annals.org on 10 November 2015
Obesity has been linked to increased rates of death overall and from cardiovascular disease. Obesity is typically defined on the basis of the body mass index (BMI), which is measured using a patient's weight divided by height. However, the ratio between a patient's waist and hip measurements (WHR) can be used to tell whether a person has central obesity. It is not clear whether persons with normal BMI but central obesity have an increased risk for death overall or from cardiovascular disease.
To compare the risks for death overall and from cardiovascular disease for different patterns of obesity defined by BMI (general obesity) or WHR (central obesity).
15,184 people aged 18 to 90 years who participated in NHANES III (Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey).
The researchers used survey participants' weight and height measurements to calculate BMI and waist and hip measurements to calculate WHR. They searched the National Death Index to find out which participants died during the follow-up period and the causes of death.
People with normal weight and central obesity had the highest risk for death overall and from cardiovascular disease compared with people without central obesity, regardless of their BMI.
Although there are different ways to measure body fat distribution, such as using imaging data of fat tissue, NHANES III did not collect these data, so the researchers of the current study calculated body fat distribution based on the participants' waist and hip measurements alone.
People with normal-weight central obesity may benefit from lifestyle changes and cardiovascular disease–prevention strategies.
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