Measures of Overweight and Obesity for Elderly Taiwanese Men and Women: Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference as Predictors of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

Zhihong Sa, University of Maryland

This paper examines the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among the elderly Taiwanese using a national sample of men and women aged 54 and older. More than 47% of women and 34% of men are overweight or obese in the sample. The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses demonstrate that waist circumference is a more sensitive predictor of CVD risk factors than BMI for both men and women. The optimal waist circumference cutoffs are 87 cm for men and 84 cm for women. There appears to be a moderate positive association between BMI and waist circumference and CVD risk factors. Further regression analysis is needed to determine this relationship. The study provides evidence that BMI may not be a good indicator of obesity among elderly Chinese. Waist circumference is a useful predictor of obesity in elderly Chinese and the optimal cutoffs are lower than the WHO standard.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology