Abdominal obesity linked to risk of type 2 diabetes
People with a genetic predisposition to high waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adjusted for body mass index (BMI), a marker of abdominal obesity, had significantly increased risk for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, according to the results of a study published in JAMA.
“We observed that individuals who had high waist-to-hip ratio, or those who were more likely to have fat around their abdomen, had a 46% higher rate of coronary heart disease and had a 77% higher risk of type 2 diabetes, in addition to higher rates of systolic blood pressure, triglyceride levels and glucose levels in their blood,” Connor A. Emdin, DPhil, of the Center for Genomic Medicine and Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, told Medical Economics.
According to Emdin, a number of observational studies have proposed that high WHR causes heart disease and diabetes.
“This relationship could potentially explain why women have lower rates of heart disease then men, and why there are different rates of heart disease and diabetes in different populations,” Emdin said.
However, it was not clear whether or not the association between WHR and diabetes and heart disease was causal. In this Mendelian randomization study, the researchers wanted to determine whether a genetic predisposition to increased WHR adjusted for BMI was associated with increased cardiometabolic traits, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.