OBJECTIVE - To evaluate the associations of body size and fat distribution with incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in Chinese women.
DESIGN - Population-based, prospective cohort study.
SUBJECTS - A total of 67 334 women aged 40-70 y, who had no prior history of CHD, stroke, and cancer at study recruitment.
MEASUREMENTS - Weight, standing and sitting heights, circumferences of waist and hip, and ratios of the anthropometric measurements.
OUTCOME - incidence of CHD (non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) or fatal CHD).
RESULTS - After a mean follow-up of 2.5 y (168 164 person-years), there were 70 incident cases of CHD (49 non-fatal MIs and 21 CHD deaths). Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-standing height ratio (WHtR), waist-to-sitting height ratio (WsHtR), and conicity index were all positively associated with the risk of CHD. With the exception of WHR, all other anthropometric indexes only predicted the risk of CHD among women =55 y of age at enrollment. The relative risks (RRs) between extreme tertiles of BMI were 9.0 (95% CI, 2.0-41.5; P for trend=0.002) for younger women vs 1.3 (0.6-3.0; P for trend=0.83) for older women. Similarly, the RRs for WC, WHtR, WsHtR, and conicity index were 6.1 (1.8-21.4) vs 1.9 (0.6-5.4), 9.4 (2.6-33.8) vs 1.2 (0.5-3.1), 15.2 (3.3-69.1) vs 1.0 (0.4-2.5), and 7.8 (2.2-28.0) vs 0.9 (0.4-2.3) for the young and elderly, respectively. In contrast, the RR for WHR was 3.2 (1.1-9.1) for the young and 2.9 (1.0-8.4) for the elderly.
CONCLUSIONS - WHR was positively associated with the risk of CHD in both younger and older women, while other anthropometrics, including BMI, were related to CHD risk primarily among younger women.