Objective Body mass index (BMI) has been used to simplify cardiovascular risk prediction models by substituting total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. In the elderly, the ability of BMI as a predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) declines. We aimed to find the most predictive anthropometric measure for CVD risk to construct a non-laboratory-based model and to compare it with the model including laboratory measurements.
Methods The study included 2675 women and 1902 men aged 55–79 years from the prospective population-based Rotterdam Study. We used Cox proportional hazard regression analysis to evaluate the association of BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and a body shape index (ABSI) with CVD, including coronary heart disease and stroke. The performance of the laboratory-based and non-laboratory-based models was evaluated by studying the discrimination, calibration, correlation and risk agreement.
Results Among men, ABSI was the most informative measure associated with CVD, therefore ABSI was used to construct the non-laboratory-based model. Discrimination of the non-laboratory-based model was not different than laboratory-based model (c-statistic: 0.680-vs-0.683, p=0.71); both models were well calibrated (15.3% observed CVD risk vs 16.9% and 17.0% predicted CVD risks by the non-laboratory-based and laboratory-based models, respectively) and Spearman rank correlation and the agreement between non-laboratory-based and laboratory-based models were 0.89 and 91.7%, respectively. Among women, none of the anthropometric measures were independently associated with CVD.
Conclusions Among middle-aged and elderly where the ability of BMI to predict CVD declines, the non-laboratory-based model, based on ABSI, could predict CVD risk as accurately as the laboratory-based model among men.
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