BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Although both general and abdominal adiposity are well-established risk factors for coronary heart disease, their associations with stroke are less well characterized, particularly in generally lean Asian populations.
METHODS - We evaluated associations of body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), waist circumference (WC), and waist-height ratio (WHtR) with stroke risk in the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based prospective cohort study of 74 942 Chinese women aged 40 to 70 years with anthropometric measurement taken at recruitment in 1996 to 2000. For this analysis, we included 67 083 women with no prior history of stroke, coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, cardiac surgery, or cancer at recruitment. Incident stroke was ascertained by biennial home visits and linkage with vital statistics registries.
RESULTS - Cut points for the highest quintiles of BMI, WHR, WC, and WHtR among this cohort were 26.6 (kg/m(2)), 0.85 (cm/cm), 84.1 (cm), and 0.54 (cm/cm), respectively. During a mean follow-up of 7.3 years, 2403 incident stroke cases were identified. All selected anthropometric measurements were positively and significantly associated with risk of total, ischemic, and hemorrhagic stroke in a dose-response manner (all probability values for trend <0.01). The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for total stroke comparing the highest versus lowest quintiles of these measurements were 1.71 (1.49 to 1.97), 1.59 (1.37 to 1.85), 1.77 (1.53 to 2.05), and 1.91 (1.61 to 2.27) for BMI, WHR, WC, and WHtR, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Increasing levels of general or abdominal adiposity consistently predict increased risk of stroke in predominantly nonobese Chinese women.