Obesity is usually considered to predispose to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) but milder degrees of obesity or overweight may be protective in some elderly populations. We examined the relationships between general and abdominal obesity indices with ASCVD and its risk factors in elderly (aged ≥65 years) Shanghai community residents Among the 3950 participants, 21.5% had ASCVD, 56.2% had body mass index (BMI) ≥24 kg/m2, 50.1% had high waist circumference (WC) and 77.1% had waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) ≥0.50. WHtR increased with age in both men and women whereas WC increased with age only in women and BMI decreased with age only in men. The optimal WHtR cut-off value to predict the risk of ASCVD determined by receiver operating characteristic analysis was WHtR ≥0.53 with a prevalence of 55.8%. Having abdominal obesity was significantly associated with prevalent ASCVD with WHtR ≥0.53 having a higher value for the odds ratio than high WC, whereas high BMI was not associated. All three indices predicted high glucose, triglycerides and hsCRP levels but only the WHtR ≥0.53 showed a significant association with physical activity. Abdominal obesity indices, but not BMI, predicted prevalent ASCVD and its risk factors in this elderly Chinese population.
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