Obesity, measured as body mass index, is associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE). Body mass index is a marker of excess weight and correlates well with body fat content in adults; however, it fails to consider the distribution of body fat. We assessed the association between anthropometric variables and VTE.
From 1993 to 1997, 27 178 men and 29 876 women 50 to 64 years of age were recruited into a Danish prospective study (Diet, Cancer, and Health). During 10 years of follow-up, the outcome of VTE events was identified in the Danish National Patient Registry and verified by review of medical records. Body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and total body fat were measured at baseline. We used Cox proportional hazard models to assess the association between anthropometry and VTE. Age was used as a time axis, with further adjustment for smoking, physical activity, height, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cholesterol, and, among women, use of hormone replacement therapy. We verified 641 incident VTE events and found monotonic dose-response relationships between VTE and all anthropometric measurements in both sexes. In mutually adjusted analyses of waist and hip circumference, we found that hip circumference was positively associated with VTE in women but not in men, whereas waist circumference was positively associated with VTE in men but not in women.
All measurements of obesity are predictors of the risk for VTE. Positive associations were found between VTE and body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and total body fat mass.