Dose-dependent positive association between cigarette smoking, abdominal obesity and body fat: cross-sectional data from a population-based survey

BMC Public Health. 2011 Jan 11;11:23. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-23.

Abstract

Background: Although smokers tend to have a lower body-mass index than non-smokers, smoking may favour abdominal body fat accumulation. To our knowledge, no population-based studies have assessed the relationship between smoking and body fat composition. We assessed the association between cigarette smoking and waist circumference, body fat, and body-mass index.

Methods: Height, weight, and waist circumference were measured among 6,123 Caucasians (ages 35-75) from a cross-sectional population-based study in Switzerland. Abdominal obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥ 102 cm for men and ≥ 88 cm for women. Body fat (percent total body weight) was measured by electrical bioimpedance. Age- and sex-specific body fat cut-offs were used to define excess body fat. Cigarettes smoked per day were assessed by self-administered questionnaire. Age-adjusted means and odds ratios were calculated using linear and logistic regression.

Results: Current smokers (29% of men and 24% of women) had lower mean waist circumference, body fat percentage, and body-mass index compared with non-smokers. Age-adjusted mean waist circumference and body fat increased with cigarettes smoked per day among smokers. The association between cigarettes smoked per day and body-mass index was non-significant. Compared with light smokers, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for abdominal obesity in men was 1.28 (0.78-2.10) for moderate smokers and 1.94 (1.15-3.27) for heavy smokers (P = 0.03 for trend), and 1.07 (0.72-1.58) and 2.15 (1.26-3.64) in female moderate and heavy smokers, respectively (P < 0.01 for trend). Compared with light smokers, the OR for excess body fat in men was 1.05 (95% CI: 0.58-1.92) for moderate smokers and 1.15 (0.60-2.20) for heavy smokers (P = 0.75 for trend) and 1.34 (0.89-2.00) and 2.11 (1.25-3.57), respectively in women (P = 0.07 for trend).

Conclusion: Among smokers, cigarettes smoked per day were positively associated with central fat accumulation, particularly in women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Abdominal / etiology*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland
  • Waist Circumference