Waist-to-height ratio

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The waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) of a person is defined as the person's waist circumference, divided by the person's height. The WHtR is a measure of the distribution of body fat. Higher values of WHtR indicate higher risk of obesity-related cardiovascular diseases; it is correlated with abdominal obesity.[1]

The WHtR should not be confused with the Waist–hip ratio (WHR), which has also been used to measure body fat distribution.

A 2010 study that followed 11,000 subjects for up to eight years concluded that WHtR is a much better measure of the risk of heart attack, stroke or death than the more widely used body mass index.[2] However, a 2011 study that followed 60,000 participants for up to 13 years found that waist-hip ratio was a better predictor of ischaemic heart disease mortality than WHtR.[3]

Conversely, WHtR was not a predictor for new-onset diabetes melitus in at least one study.[4]

A WHtR of over 0.5 is critical and signifies an increased risk; a 2010 systematic review of published studies concluded that "WHtR may be advantageous because it avoids the need for age-, sex- and ethnic-specific boundary values".[5] For people under 40 the critical value is 0.5, for people aged 40-50 the critical value is between 0.5 and 0.6, and for people over 50 the critical values start at 0.6.[citation needed]

Barbie Doll 0.2500
Marilyn Monroe 0.3359
Ken Doll 0.3600
Female Porn Star 0.3800
Beyonce 0.3881
Female College Swimmer 0.4240
Male College Swimmer 0.4280
Body Builder 0.4580
Female at increased risk 0.4920
General healthy cutoff 0.5000
Risk equivalent to BMI of 25 0.5100
Males at increased risk 0.5360
Risk equivalent to BMI of 30 0.5700
Obese 0.5770
Substantial risk increase 0.5820

[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CM Lee, Huxley RR, Wildman RP, Woodward M (July 2008). "Indices of abdominal obesity are better discriminators of cardiovascular risk factors than BMI: a meta-analysis'". Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 61 (7): 646–653. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2007.08.012. PMID 18359190. 
  2. ^ Schneider et al. (2010). "The predictive value of different measures of obesity for incident cardiovascular events and mortality.". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 95 (4): 1777–1785. doi:10.1210/jc.2009-1584. PMID 20130075. 
  3. ^ Mørkedal, Bjørn; Romundstad, Pål R; Vatten, Lars J. (2011). "Informativeness of indices of blood pressure, obesity and serum lipids in relation to ischaemic heart disease mortality: the HUNT-II study". European Journal of Epidemiology 26 (6): 457–461. doi:10.1007/s10654-011-9572-7. ISSN 0393-2990. PMC 3115050. PMID 21461943. 
  4. ^ Ren-Jieh Kuo et al. (2011). "Inability of waist-to-height ratio to predict new onset diabetes mellitus among older adults in Taiwan: A five-year observational cohort study". Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 53 (1): e1–e4. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2010.05.005. 
  5. ^ Browning Lucy M. et al. (2010). "A systematic review of waist-to-height ratio as a screening tool for the prediction of cardiovascular disease and diabetes: 0·5 could be a suitable global boundary value.". Nutrition research reviews 23 (02): 247–69. doi:10.1017/S0954422410000144. 

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