Association between anthropometric measures of obesity and subclinical atherosclerosis in Bangladesh

Wenzhen Ge, Faruque Parvez, Fen Wu, Tariqul Islam, Alauddin Ahmed, Ishrat Shaheen, Golam Sarwar, Ryan T. Demmer, Moise Desvarieux, Habibul Ahsan, Yu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anthropometric measures such as waist-hip-ratio (WHR), waist-height-ratio (WHtR), waist circumference, Mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and upper thigh circumference, have been linked to the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, their relationships with subclinical atherosclerosis are unclear. Studies in normal-weight populations, especially in Asian countries where leanness is prevalent, are lacking. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess the associations of WHR, WHtR, waist circumference, hip circumference, body mass index (BMI), MUAC and upper thigh circumference with carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) among 562 middle-aged participants free of CVD in rural Bangladesh. Results: After adjusting for age and sex, WHR and waist circumference but not BMI showed a positive significant association with cIMT. In multivariate analysis, each standard deviation (SD) increase of WHR (0.08) or WHtR (0.07) was associated with an 8.96μm (95% CI, 1.12-16.81) or 11.45μm (95%CI, 0.86-22.04) difference in cIMT, respectively, after controlling for age, sex, BMI, smoking status, education level, and systolic blood pressure (SBP). The associations of WHR and WHtR with cIMT were independent of the influence of other anthropometric measures. The associations of other anthropometric measures and cIMT were not apparent. Conclusions: In our relatively lean, healthy Asian population, WHR and WHtR appear to be better predictors of early atherosclerosis than other common surrogates of adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-241
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Anthropometric measures
  • Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT)
  • Preclinical atherosclerosis
  • Waist-hip-ratio (WHR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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