TitleAre current UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) obesity risk guidelines useful? Cross-sectional associations with cardiovascular disease risk factors in a large, representative English population.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsTabassum, F, Batty, GD
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2013
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Body Mass Index, C-Reactive Protein, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cholesterol, HDL, Cross-Sectional Studies, England, Female, Fibrinogen, Glycated Hemoglobin A, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity, Odds Ratio, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Risk Factors, Waist Circumference

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently released obesity guidelines for health risk. For the first time in the UK, we estimate the utility of these guidelines by relating them to the established cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Health Survey for England (HSE) 2006, a population-based cross-sectional study in England was used with a sample size of 7225 men and women aged ≥35 years (age range: 35-97 years). The following CVD risk factor outcomes were used: hypertension, diabetes, total and high density lipoprotein cholesterol, glycated haemoglobin, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein and Framingham risk score. Four NICE categories of obesity were created based on body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC): no risk (up to normal BMI and low/high WC); increased risk (normal BMI & very high WC, or obese & low WC); high risk (overweight & very high WC, or obese & high WC); and very high risk (obese I & very high WC or obese II/III with any levels of WC. Men and women in the very high risk category had the highest odds ratios (OR) of having unfavourable CVD risk factors compared to those in the no risk category. For example, the OR of having hypertension for those in the very high risk category of the NICE obesity groupings was 2.57 (95% confidence interval 2.06 to 3.21) in men, and 2.15 (1.75 to 2.64) in women. Moreover, a dose-response association between the adiposity groups and most of the CVD risk factors was observed except total cholesterol in men and low HDL in women. Similar results were apparent when the Framingham risk score was the outcome of interest. In conclusion, the current NICE definitions of obesity show utility for a range of CVD risk factors and CVD risk in both men and women.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID23844088
PubMed Central IDPMC3699476