Effect of age on the association between waist-to-height ratio and incidence of cardiovascular disease: The suita study

Yukako Tatsumi, Makoto Watanabe, Yoshihiro Kokubo, Kunihiro Nishimura, Aya Higashiyama, Tomonori Okamura, Akira Okayama, Yoshihiro Miyamoto

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Background: Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) has been shown to be a useful screening tool for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated the association of WHtR with CVD incidence by age group. Methods: We conducted a 13.0-year cohort study of Japanese adults (2600 men and 2888 women) with no history of CVD. WHtR was calculated as waist circumference (cm) (WC) divided by height (cm). We stratified participants by sex and age group (30-49, 50-69, ≥70 years). Using the Cox proportional hazards model, we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for CVD in relation to WHtR quartile for participants aged 50 to 69 years and 70 years or older. Results: Men aged 50 to 69 years in the highest quartile had significantly increased risks of CVD and coronary heart disease as compared with the lowest quartile; the HRs (95% CI) were 1.82 (1.13-2.92) and 2.42 (1.15-5.12), respectively. Women aged 50 to 69 years in the highest quartile had a significantly increased risk of stroke (HR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.01-5.85). No significant results were observed in men or women aged 70 years or older. The likelihood ratio test showed that the predictive value of WHtR was greater than that of WC among men aged 50 to 69 years. Conclusions: The association between WHtR and CVD risk differed among age groups. WHtR was useful in identifying middle-aged Japanese at higher risk of CVD and was a better predictor than WC of CVD, especially in men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 29



  • Age difference
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Waist-to-height ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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