The relation between body fat distribution, as measured by the waist-to-hip circumference ratio, and the 2-year incidences of hypertension and stroke were examined in a cohort of 41, 837 women aged 55-69 years. Women who developed hypertension were 2.1 (95% confidence interval 1.7-2.6) times more likely to be in the upper tertile of waist-to-hip ratio than those who did not Adjustment for age, body mass index (kilograms per meter squared), cigarette smoking, physical activity, alcohol intake, and education level reduced this odds ratio to 1.6 (95% confidence interval 1.3-2.1). Women who developed a stroke were also 2.1 (95% confidence interval 1.5-2.9) times more likely to be in the upper tertile of waist-to-hip ratio than those who did not Adjustment for the same covariates also lowered this odds ratio to 1.6 (95% confidence interval 1.1-2.4). Further adjustment for hypertension and diabetes mellitus reduced the estimated risk of stroke due to elevated waist-to-hip ratio to 1.3 (95% confidence interval 0.8-2.1). Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cigarette smoking remained significantly associated with stroke incidence in the multivariate model. These results indicate that abdominal adiposity, as measured by an increased waist-to-hip ratio, increases the risks of hypertension and stroke, even after accounting for overall body mass. The association of abdominal adiposity with risk of stroke is related, in part, to the association of abdominal adiposity with hypertension and diabetes.
- Cerebrovascular disorders
- Risk factors