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AIMS: Results of previous studies of abdominal adiposity and risk of vascular-metabolic mortality in Hispanic populations have been conflicting. We report results from a large prospective study of Mexican adults with high levels of abdominal adiposity. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 159 755 adults aged ≥35 years from Mexico City were enrolled in a prospective study and followed for 16 years. Cox regression, adjusted for confounders, yielded mortality rate ratios (RRs) associated with three markers of abdominal adiposity (waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and waist-height ratio) and one marker of gluteo-femoral adiposity (hip circumference) for cause-specific mortality before age 75 years. To reduce reverse causality, deaths in the first 5 years of follow-up and participants with diabetes or other prior chronic disease were excluded. Among 113 163 participants without prior disease and aged 35-74 years at recruitment, all adiposity markers were positively associated with vascular-metabolic mortality. Comparing the top versus bottom tenth of the sex-specific distributions, the vascular-metabolic mortality RRs at ages 40-74 years were 2.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.84-2.94] for waist circumference, 2.22 (1.71-2.88) for the waist-hip ratio, 2.63 (2.06-3.36) for the waist-height ratio, and 1.58 (1.29-1.93) for hip circumference. The RRs corresponding to each standard deviation (SD) higher usual levels of these adiposity markers were 1.34 (95% CI 1.27-1.41), 1.31 (1.23-1.39), 1.38 (1.31-1.45), and 1.18 (1.13-1.24), respectively. For the markers of abdominal adiposity, the RRs did not change much after further adjustment for other adiposity markers, but for hip circumference the association was reversed; given body mass index and waist circumference, the RR for vascular-metabolic mortality for each one SD higher usual hip circumference was 0.80 (0.75-0.86). CONCLUSIONS: In this study of Mexican adults, abdominal adiposity (and in particular the waist-height ratio) was strongly and positively associated with vascular-metabolic mortality. For a given amount of general and abdominal adiposity, however, higher hip circumference was associated with lower vascular-metabolic mortality.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Prev Cardiol

Publication Date



Abdominal adiposity, Cause-specific mortality, Gluteo-femoral adiposity, Mexico, Prospective cohort study