Or as Reuters put it: “[T]he best predictors of future heart risk are measures of blood pressure, cholesterol and history of diabetes.”
According to a paper in The Lancet:
BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, whether assessed singly or in combination, do not importantly improve cardiovascular disease risk prediction in people in developed countries when additional information is available for systolic blood pressure, history of diabetes, and lipids.
Researchers looked at height, weight, hip, waist, blood pressure, cholesterol and other data from more than 220,000 adults — who had no previous history of heart disease – and tracked them over time to see who had heart attacks. Once they controlled for age, sex, smoking, baseline systolic blood pressure, history of diabetes, and total and HDL cholesterol, they found that BMI or waist-to-hip ratio didn’t add much information.
The headlines and articles focus on how this refutes the notion that “pear-shaped” fat people are at less risk of heart disease than “apple-shaped”. I wonder if this implies that thin people who have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes (all of which can be affected by family history) might have their risk factors ignored because they’re thin.