Use of the waist-to-height ratio to predict cardiovascular risk in patients with diabetes: Results from the ADVANCE-ON study

Karin Rådholm, John Chalmers, Toshiaki Ohkuma, Sanne Peters, Neil Poulter, Pavel Hamet, Stephen Harrap, Mark Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Patients with type 2 diabetes have a high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Central obesity has been particularly associated with this risk relationship. We aimed to evaluate waist to height ratio (WHtR) as a predictor of risk in such patients. Methods: WHtR was evaluated as a predictor of the risk of CVD and mortality amongst 11 125 participants with type 2 diabetes in the ADVANCE and ADVANCE-ON studies, and was compared with body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and waist hip ratio (WHR). Primary outcome was a composite of death from CVD, non-fatal myocardial infarction or non-fatal stroke. Secondary outcomes were myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular death and death from any cause. Cox models were used, with bootstrapping to compare associations between anthropometric measures for the primary outcome. Results: Median follow-up time was 9.0 years. There was a positive association between WHtR and adverse outcomes. The hazard ratio (HR) (confidence interval), per SD higher WHtR, was 1.16 (1.11-1.22) for the primary endpoint, with no heterogeneity by sex or region, but a stronger effect in individuals aged 66 years or older. The other 3 anthropometric measurements showed similar associations, although there was evidence that WHtR marginally outperformed BMI and WHR. Based on commonly used BMI cut-points, the equivalent WHtR cut-points were estimated to be 0.55 and 0.6, with no evidence of a difference across subgroups. Conclusions: In patients with diabetes, WHtR is a useful indicator of future adverse risk, with similar effects in different population subgroups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1903-1910
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes complications
  • macrovascular disease
  • type 2 diabetes


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