Objective: To test the hypothesis that waist and hip circumferences together provide additional information on the progression of preclinical atherosclerosis beyond either of them alone in elderly women.
Design: A 12-year follow-up study.
Subjects: A population-based sample of 102 women 60-70 years of age at baseline.
Measurements: Waist and hip circumferences and body mass index (BMI) were assessed and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was quantified noninvasively by ultrasonography.
Results: There was a significant increase in the 12-year carotid IMT progression across the thirds of waist circumference (0.080, 0.277, 0.279 mm, P=0.02 for difference) and hip circumference (0.030, 0.342, 0.260 mm, P=0.001 for difference) adjusted for conventional risk factors (age, smoking, systolic blood pressure, serum low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood glucose). The association of waist circumference with IMT progression was not significant after further adjustment for hip circumference or BMI. Further adjustment for waist circumference and BMI did not change the association of hip circumference with IMT progression. The IMT progression was greatest in women with waist circumference >83 cm and hip circumference </=98 cm adjusted for conventional risk factors (P=0.003 for interaction).
Conclusion: Not only waist circumference but also hip circumference is associated with the progression of carotid atherosclerosis during 12 years in elderly women. Women with both a larger waist circumference and a smaller hip circumference had the greatest progression of carotid atherosclerosis.