The aim of the present study was to compare the ability of the hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype and the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) clinical criteria to predict coronary artery disease (CAD) risk in a sample of women. We studied 254 women among whom the presence/absence of CAD was assessed by angiography. The hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype was defined as having both a high waist circumference (≥85 cm) and increased fasting triglyceride levels (≥1.5 mmol/L), whereas the presence of at least 3 of the 5 NCEP-ATP III criteria was used as the "reference" screening approach to identify women with the features of the metabolic syndrome. Women with hypertriglyceridemic waist were characterized by higher adiposity indices as well as by a more disturbed fasting metabolic risk profile compared with women without this phenotype. Similar differences were observed when comparing the metabolic profile of women with vs without at least 3 of the NCEP-ATP III clinical criteria. Moreover, differences in the Framingham risk score were essentially similar when women were considered at low or high risk by either hypertriglyceridemic waist or by NCEP-ATP III clinical criteria (P < .0001). Finally, both clinical phenotypes were predictive of CAD (hypertriglyceridemic waist: relative odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.8; P = .02; NCEP-ATP III clinical criteria: relative odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-4.6; P < .003). These results suggest that hypertriglyceridemic waist is a simple screening tool to identify women with clustering metabolic abnormalities and at increased CAD risk.