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Waist hip ratio (WHR) is a measure that helps discriminate abdominal obesity from overall obesity.
In a study situation WHR was measured (1) via:
WHR has shown to independently predict death from cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease in Austrialina men and women (1).
A commentary on this study stated that "most of the literature supports the finding that abdominal obesity is a stronger risk factor for cardiovascular disease than overall obesity. However, whether WHR is independent of traditional cardiac risk factors remains controversial and unanswered by this study " (2).
A more recent meta-analysis concluded that wist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio increase risk of cardiovascular events in men and women (3).
WHR shows a linear association with mortality in middle-aged men and women, but body mass index, based on this particular study, did not (4)