Waist Circumference: Fortune Teller of Coronary Artery Disease?

Medical experts have long debated over which obesity parameter holds the strongest cardiovascular predictive value.

Medical experts have long debated over which obesity parameter holds the strongest cardiovascular predictive value.

Konstantinos Toutouzas MD, FESC, FSCAI will present the latest findings from his research Saturday, March 14 at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

Toutouzas and his colleagues embarked on a recent study to primarily assess the predictive role of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist to hip ratio for the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) in a group of essential hypertensive patients.

They observed a total cohort of 2361 individuals without cardiovascular disease (CVD) for approximately 6 years (average age of 57.8 years, 1131 males, office blood pressure (BP) =143/89 mmHg).

The team used standard techniques to measure weight, height, and waist circumference between the low rib margin and the iliac crest.

Toutouzas noted a “2.37% incidence of CAD over the follow-up period —hypersensitives who developed CAD (n=56) compared to those free of CAD at follow-up (n=2305)” were reported to have a baseline greater waist circumference, LVMI, and prevalence of LVH.

Additionally, the team did not observe any difference between the hypertensive group with CAD and those without CAD with respect to baseline office BP, BMI, and waist to hip ratio values (p=NS for all).

Toutouzas and his team found that BMI and waist to hip ratio clearly did not have any independent prognostic value.

However, the research results indicated baseline waist circumference predicted future development of CAD in hypertensive individuals — suggesting that among the obesity index, waist circumference can be a simple clinical tool to assess risk in hypertension.