OBJECTIVES: To study the association between alcohol drinking pattern and obesity. DESIGN: Cross-sectional population study with assessment of quantity and frequency of alcohol intake, waist and hip circumference, height, weight, and lifestyle factors including diet. SUBJECTS: In all, 25 325 men and 24 552 women aged 50-65 y from the Diet, Cancer and Health Study, Denmark, 1993-1997 participated in the study. MEASUREMENTS: Drinking frequency, total alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), and waist and hip circumference. RESULTS: Among men, total alcohol intake was positively associated with high BMI (>/=30 kg/m(2)), large waist circumference (>/=102 cm) and inversely associated with small hip circumference (/=88 cm), and small hips only for the highest intake (28+ drinks/week). The most frequent drinkers had the lowest odds ratios (OR) for being obese. Among men, OR for having a high BMI were 1.39 (95% confidence interval: 1.36-1.64), 1.17 (1.02-1.34), 1.00 (reference), 0.87 (0.77-0.98), and 0.73 (0.65-0.82) for drinking 1-3 days/month, 1 day/week, 2-4 days/week, 5-6 days/week, and 7 days/week, respectively. Similar estimates were found for waist circumference. Corresponding results were found for women. CONCLUSION: For a given level of total alcohol intake, obesity was inversely associated with drinking frequency, whereas the amount of alcohol intake was positively associated with obesity. These results indicate that frequent drinking of small amounts of alcohol is the optimal drinking pattern in this relation.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether waist and hip circumferences, in addition to body mass index (BMI), are related to all-cause mortality. We studied these associations and tested the usefulness of the waist-to-hip ratio for mortality prediction. DESIGN: A Danish prospective cohort study with data collected between 1993 and 1997. SUBJECTS: A total of 27 179 men and 29 875 women born in Denmark and aged 50-64 years were followed for a median of 6.8 years. MEASUREMENTS: BMI, waist and hip circumferences at baseline. RESULTS: The associations between hip circumference and all-cause mortality were inverse for both men and women, but only after adjustment for waist circumference, or BMI, or both. The mortality rate ratios of mutually adjusted waist and hip circumferences were 0.63 (95% CI: 0.56, 0.71), and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.79) times higher per 10% larger hip circumference in men and women, respectively, and 1.45 (95% CI: 1.34, 1.57) and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.31) times higher per 10% larger waist circumference. The adequacy of the waist-to-hip ratio as a substitute for separate measurements of waist and hip circumferences depended on which other variables the analysis was adjusted for, indicating that the waist-to-hip ratio should be used with precaution. CONCLUSION: When mutually adjusted, waist and hip circumferences show opposite associations with all-cause mortality, probably due to different effects of adipose tissue in the abdominal and gluteofemoral regions. The waist-to-hip ratio cannot always capture these relations adequately.
OBJECTIVE: Waist circumference is directly related to all-cause mortality when adjusted for body mass index (BMI). Body fat and fat-free body mass, when mutually adjusted, show with increasing values an increasing and decreasing relation to all-cause mortality. We investigated the association of waist circumference and body composition (body fat and fat-free mass), mutually adjusted, to all-cause mortality. DESIGN: A Danish prospective cohort study with a median follow-up period of 5.8 y. SUBJECTS: In all, 27 178 men and 29 875 women, born in Denmark, aged 50-64 y, and without diagnosis of cancer at the time of invitation. MEASUREMENTS: Waist circumference and body composition estimated from impedance measurements. Cox's regression models were used to estimate the mortality rate ratios (RR). RESULTS: Waist circumference was strongly associated with all-cause mortality after adjustment for body composition; the mortality RR was 1.36 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.22-1.52) times higher per 10% larger waist circumference among men and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.17-1.44) times higher among women. Adjustment for waist circumference eliminated the association between high values of the body fat mass index (BFMI) and all-cause mortality. The association between fat-free mass index (FFMI) and mortality remained unaltered. CONCLUSION: Waist circumference accounted for the mortality risk associated with excess body fat and not fat-free mass. Waist circumference remained strongly and directly associated with all-cause mortality when adjusted for total body fat in middle-aged men and women, suggesting that the increased mortality risk related to excess body fat is mainly due to abdominal adiposity.