The association of cardiovascular disease risk factors with abdominal obesity in Canada. Canadian Heart Health Surveys Research Group.CMAJ. 1997 Jul 01; 157 Suppl 1:S39-45.CMAJ
To assess the degree of association of abdominal obesity with blood pressure and plasma lipid levels and to determine which anthropometric measures of obesity are most closely associated with these cardiovascular risk factors.
Population-based, cross-sectional surveys.
Five Canadian provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan) between 1989 and 1992.
A probability sample of 16,007 men and women aged 18 to 74 was selected using health insurance registration files in each province and invited to participate. A complete set of measurements was available for 8974 (56%) adults.
Initially, simple correlation analyses by age and sex were performed between the anthropometric variables-body mass index, waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), ratio of waist to hip circumference (WHR)- and cardiovascular disease risk variables-systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), levels of total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides (TRIG) and the TC/HDL ratio. Canonical correlation analyses were performed to determine the multivariate associations between the anthropometric and risk variables.
The simple correlations between anthropometric variables and cardiovascular disease risk variables were highest for SBP; moderate for DBP, HDL, TRIG and TC/HDL; and lowest for LDL and TC. Of the anthropometric variables, WC demonstrated the greatest correlations with the risk variables. The first canonical correlations were significant (p < 0.0001) in men (0.58) and women (0.61) of all ages. Of the anthropometric variables, WC consistently demonstrated the highest loading values in the first canonical variable in men (0.56) and women (0.59). Of the risk variables in both sexes, the loadings of TRIG were generally the largest, those of HDL, SBP, DBP intermediate and those of LDL the smallest. In men, the strength of these associations generally decreased with age, whereas in women they peaked in the 35-54 year age group.
Considerable association was seen between measures of abdominal obesity and blood pressure and plasma lipid levels. WC is the measure of abdominal obesity most highly correlated with these cardiovascular disease risk factors.