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Cigarette Smoking and Increased Central Adiposity

Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD; and Kay-Tee Khaw, MBB Chir
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant Support: Supported in part by NIDDK grant DK 31801, NHLBI grant HL 34951, and a grant from The Weight Watchers Foundation, Inc.

Requests for Reprints: Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, MD, Department of Community and Family Medicine, 3056 Basic Science Building, M-007, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Barrett-Connor and Khaw: Department of Community and Family Medicine, 3056 Basic Science Building, M-007, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093.


©1989 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1989;111(10):783-787. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-111-10-783
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Study Objective: To determine whether cigarette smoking is associated with central obesity in men and women.

Design: A cross-sectional survey.

Setting: A geographically defined population of older white adults.

Participants: Men (836) and women (1112) ages 50 to 79.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and Main Results: Waist-hip circumference ratio and body mass index (weight in kg/height in m2) were measured in participants wearing light clothing without shoes. Past and current cigarette smoking habits were ascertained by a standard self-administered questionnaire. Cigarette smokers had higher waist-hip ratios than nonsmokers. We observed a dose-response relation of increasing waist-hip ratio with increasing number of cigarettes smoked. Although smokers were leaner than nonsmokers, the increased waist-hip ratio in smokers was independent of body mass index and was consistent within body-mass index tertiles. The associations, seen in both sexes, were stronger in women.

Conclusions: Cigarette smokers have more central obesity than nonsmokers. These results suggest that body fat distribution can be modified by behavioral factors such as smoking.

Topics

obesity ; smoking

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