Intended for healthcare professionals


Ratio of waist circumference to height is better predictor of death than body mass index

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1487
  1. Brian D Cox,
  2. Margaret J Whichelow
  1. University lecturer Senior research associate Health and Lifestyle Survey, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge CB2 2SR

    EDITOR,—The ratio of waist circumference to height has been shown to be a stronger predictor of intra-abdominal fat than the body mass index,1 and this must partly explain why this ratio showed a stronger association with cardiovascular risk than did body mass index in a cross sectional study.2 Height, weight, and waist and hip circumference were measured in the 1984–5 health and lifestyle survey of a nationwide random stratified sample of British adults.3 All participants in the survey were flagged on the central health service …

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