Recent studies have inferred an association of general adiposity with all-cause mortality. However, the impact of central obesity on all-cause mortality is not clear. This study aims to investigate the association of central obesity with the risk of all-cause mortality in the general population.

This systematic review and meta-analysis included a total of 1,950 prospective cohort studies evaluating the risk estimates of all-cause mortality across all the stages of central obesity. Different indices of central obesity, including hip circumference, waist circumference, and waist to hip, thigh, and height ratio, were considered. The primary outcome of the study was the risk of all-cause mortality.

Of 1,950 included studies, 72 made it to the final analysis, including 2,528,297 participants. The summary hazard ratio was 1.1 for waist circumference, 1.08 for hip circumference, 0.82 for thigh circumference, 1.24 for waist-to-height ratio, and 1.21 for waist-to-height ratio. The body HR for body adiposity index was 1.17, and for body shape index, it was 1.15. A J-shaped association was found between waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio, and the risk of all-cause mortality.

The research concluded that central obesity indices, including hip circumference, waist circumference, and waist to hip, thigh, and height ratio, had a mixed outcome. Therefore, no concrete conclusion can be issued.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3324