A measuring tape seems to be a powerful tool for identifying people at risk of developing high blood pressure, researchers from Brazil report. In a new study, people who were obese based on their waist circumference were most likely to develop high blood pressure during the next few years.
Obesity is well known to increase the risk of high blood pressure, but there is more than one way to measure obesity.
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of weight in relation to height. A BMI from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and 30 and above is considered obese.
Another way to tell whether a person is overweight or obese is to measure waist circumference. The cut-off points for obesity are 102 centimeters (40 inches) for men and 88 centimeters (35 inches) for women, according to National Institutes of Health guidelines.
Despite the link between obesity and an increased risk of high blood pressure, it is uncertain whether BMI or waist circumference is a better tool for predicting how likely a person is to develop high blood pressure. Research has shown that some people with a normal BMI but a high waist circumference have an increased risk of high blood pressure.
- American Journal of Hypertension