Abdominal Adiposity and Mortality

In this study, research extended previous evaluations of the role of adiposity on the risk of total mortality by focusing on waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, rather than body mass index (BMI). These associations were examined among 359 387 participants from nine EPIC countries, after controlling for the main potential confounders, including age, centre, educational level, smoking status, physical activity, and height. The study confirmed that general and abdominal adiposity were independently related to the risk of death. The associations of BMI with the risk of death were J-shaped, with higher risks of death observed in the lower and upper BMI categories than in the middle BMI categories. In contrast, once general adiposity was adjusted for, abdominal fat distribution was positively associated with the risk of death. Thus, measurement of both general and abdominal adiposity provides a better assessment of the risk of death.

Pischon T et al. General and abdominal adiposity and risk of death in Europe. N Engl J Med. 2008 Nov 13;359(20):2105-20. PMID: 19005195