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Waist circumference and waist–hip ratio

The absolute waist circumference (>102 cm in men and >88 cm in women) and the waist–hip ratio (the circumference of the waist divided by that of the hips of >0.9 for men and >0.85 for women) are both used as measures of central obesity.

In those with a BMI under 35, intra-abdominal body fat is related to negative health outcomes independent of total body fat. Intra-abdominal or visceral fat has a particularly strong correlation with cardiovascular disease. In a study of 15,000 subjects, waist circumference also correlated better with metabolic syndrome than BMI Women who have abdominal obesity have a cardiovascular risk similar to that of men. In people with a BMI over 35, measurement of waist circumference however adds little to the predictive power of BMI as most individuals with this BMI have an abnormal waist circumferences.

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