There are conflicting data as to whether general or abdominal obesity is a better predictor of cardiovascular risk. This cross-sectional study involved 4,573 subjects aged 30 to 74 yr who participated in the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2008. Obesity phenotype was classified by means of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), and participants were categorized into 4 groups. Individuals' 10-yr risk of coronary heart diseases (CHD) was determined from the Framingham risk score. Subjects with obese WC had a higher proportion of high risk for CHD compared to the normal WC group, irrespective of BMI level. Relative to subjects with normal BMI/normal WC, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of normal BMI/obese WC group (OR 2.93 [1.70, 5.04] and OR 3.10 [1.49, 6.46]) for CHD risk in male were higher than obese BMI/obese WC group (OR 1.91 [1.40, 2.61] and OR 1.70 [1.16, 2.47]), whereas the adjusted ORs of obese BMI/obese WC group (OR 1.94 [1.24, 3.04] and OR 3.92 [1.75, 8.78]) were higher than the others in female. Subjects with obese BMI/normal WC were not significantly associated with 10-yr CHD risk in men (P = 0.449 and P = 0.067) and women (P = 0.702 and P = 0.658). WC is associated with increased CHD risk regardless of the level of BMI. Men with normal BMI and obese WC tend to be associated with CHD risk than those with obese BMI and obese WC.
Keywords: Body Mass Index; Cardiovascular Disease; Coronary Heart Disease; KNHANES; Obesity; Waist Circumference.