(HealthDay News) – Waist measures (waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio [WHtR]) are associated with lipid and blood pressure levels, with increased WHtR linked to worsened lipid profile and hypertension in obese adolescents, according to a study published online April 2 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

To determine the role of waist measures in assessment of lipid profiles and blood pressure for adolescents classified by body mass index (BMI), Michael Khoury, MD, of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and associates conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of 4,104 ninth-grade students (aged 14–15 years) in Niagara Falls during the 2009–2010 academic school year. Complete data were available for 3,428 students.

The researchers found that there were significant correlations between blood pressure, lipid profile, and measures of adiposity (BMI, BMI/waist circumference, and BMI/WHtR), but the correlations had limited strength and were not significantly different from each other. Increased WHtR categories correlated with worsened lipid profile and increased likelihood of hypertension for overweight and obese students, compared with those with normal BMI and normal WHtR, and compared with those with normal WHtR within each category of BMI.

“Waist measures serve to further specify lipid and blood pressure assessments in overweight and obese adolescents, with the greatest associations noted for obese adolescents,” the authors conclude.

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