Waist-to-height ratio index for predicting incidences of hypertension: The ARIRANG study

Jung Ran Choi, Sang Baek Koh, Eunhee Choi

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Several anthropometric indices such as body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) have been examined as indicators of cardiovascular diseases, in both adults and children. However, the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) is considered a better predictor for the detection of cardiovascular risk factors, than BMI. We investigated the association between the WHtR and incident hypertension. Methods: A total of 1718 participants, aged 39-72 years, were recruited in this longitudinal study. Participants were divided into 2 groups according to the development of hypertension during 2005-2008 (baseline) and 2008-2011 (follow-up). Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the WHtR as a significant predictor of hypertension. Results: During the 2.8 years of follow-up, 185 new cases of hypertension (10.8%) were diagnosed, with an incidence rate of approximately 4% per year. The WHtR was significantly higher in the participants who had developed hypertension than in those who had not (0.54 ± 0.05 vs. 0.51 ± 0.05, p < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol intake, regular exercise status, total cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure, at the baseline, the logistic regression analysis indicated that the participants with the highest quartile of the WHtR (WHtR≥0.54) were 4.51 times more likely to have hypertension than those with the lowest quartile (odds ratio 4.51; 95% confidence interval 2.41-8.43; p <.0001). The area under the curve for the WHtR, in identifying hypertension risk, was significantly greater than that for the BMI (p = 0.0233). Conclusion: A positive association between WHtR and the incidence of hypertension was observed in Korean adults. The findings of the present community-based prospective study suggest that the WHtR may be a better predictor of incident hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Article number767
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 19

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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