Prediction of cardiovascular disease risk using waist circumference among Aboriginals in a remote Australian community

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Background: Elevated waist circumference (WC) is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Aboriginals in Australia are at higher risk of CVD compared to non-Aboriginals. We examined the association between waist circumference and CVD, and developed a model for projecting absolute risk of cardiovascular disease using WC and age in one high risk Australian Aboriginal community.

Methods: We followed up 920 (470 men, 450 women) participants (more than 80% of the eligible population) aged 18 to 76 years, without CVD at baseline, for up to 20 years. Hazard ratios were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models adjusting for potential confounding factors. Absolute risk was estimated using the Weibull regression model.

Results: Of 920 study participants, 156 males and 177 females developed CVD in the follow-up period. Incidence rates for males and females in the 4th WC quartile (Q4) were 38.3 (95% CI 29.6, 49.7) and 47.2 (95% CI 37.1, 60.3) respectively. Crude hazard ratios of CVD for Q4 WC group using Q1 (quartile 1) as the referent quartile were 2.9 (95% CI 1.8- 4.6) for males and 3.5 (95% CI 2.2- 5.5) for females. Association remained after controlling for age, smoking status and alcohol drinking status (HR = 1.8 for males and HR = 3.1 for females). At 45 years of age with baseline waist circumference of 100 cm, a male had an absolute CVD risk of 32.5%, while a female had a 30.6% risk of the disease.

Conclusions: Risk of CVD among participants increased with increasing WC, and the relationship was accentuated with increasing age. The prediction model provides a tool for understanding the combined effects of WC with age on CVD events in the Australian Aboriginal community. It is simple and easily understood and will assist in identifying individuals at risk of CVD in relation to waist circumference values.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


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