Waist circumference (WC) measured at one point in time is positively associated with the risk of acute myocardial infarction (MI), but the association with changes in WC (DWC) is not clear. We investigated the association between DWC and the risk of MI in middle-aged men and women, and evaluated the influence from concurrent changes in BMI (DBMI).
Data on 38,593 participants from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health study was analysed. Anthropometry was assessed in 1993-97 and 1999-02. Information on fatal and non-fatal MI was obtained from National Registers. Cases were validated by review of the medical records. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated from Cox proportional hazard models with individuals considered at risk from 1999-02 until December 30 2009. During 8.4 years of follow-up, 1,041 incident cases of MI occurred. WC was positively associated with the risk of MI, but weakly after adjustment for BMI. DWC was not associated with the risk of MI (HR per 5 cm change = 1.01 (0.95, 1.09) with adjustment for covariates, baseline WC, BMI and DBMI). Associations with DWC were not notably different in sub-groups stratified according to baseline WC or DBMI, or when individuals with MI occurring within the first years of follow-up were excluded.
WC was positively associated with the risk of MI in middle-aged men and women, but changes in WC were not. These findings suggest that a reduction in WC may be an insufficient target for prevention of MI in middle-aged men and women.