recent study followed 21,787 participants with an age from 45 to 79 years for an average of 9.8 years (Arsenault BJ, et al. 2010). The researchers examined the relationship between high triglycerides levels (fat in the blood), high waist circumference and the risk of coronary artery disease in apparently healthy individuals.
The threshold used as a high waist circumference was 90 cm (35.4 inches) or more for men and 85 cm (33.4 inches) or more for women.
When participants with triglycerides and waist circumference below the threshold were compared with participants above the threshold it was found that the participants above the threshold had higher blood pressure, higher apolipoprotein B (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) and higher C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker). These participants also had lower levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and apolipoprotein A-1 (high is good) and smaller LDL particles (not good).
This resulted in an increased risk for future coronary artery disease of 2.4% for the men and 3.84% for women.
Arsenault BJ, Lemieux I, Després JP, Wareham NJ, Kastelein JJ, Khaw KT, Boekholdt SM. The hypertriglyceridemic-waist phenotype and the risk of coronary artery disease: results from the EPIC-Norfolk Prospective Population Study. CMAJ. 2010 Jul 19.