Central adipose distribution is related to coronary atherosclerosis.
A "male" distribution of adipose tissue in women (excess of fat in the abdomen compared with that in the hips; i.e., elevated waist/hip ratio) has been related to symptomatic cardiovascular disease. An elevated waist/hip ratio has also been related to symptomatic cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in men, as well as to risk factors for these diseases and various metabolic conditions. To determine whether adipose distribution was related to coronary atherosclerosis, we performed a case-control study in patients with angiographically documented coronary atherosclerosis (cases) and in angiographically normal hospital and neighborhood controls. The data show that distribution of adiposity as assessed by waist/hip ratio is significantly related to coronary atherosclerosis in both females and males. Waist/hip ratio is significantly greater in female cases compared with either control group; in males, waist/hip ratio is significantly greater in cases compared with asymptomatic neighborhood controls but not compared with patients with normal coronary arteries. These results persist after control for age, plasma concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins, body mass index, history of hypertension, history of diabetes, and smoking status. The connection between the male adipose distribution in females and coronary atherosclerosis partly explains the greater likelihood of symptomatic cardiovascular disease in them. Males with excess deposition of fat in the abdominal region are also likely to experience increased risk.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association