Sex May Affect Obesity-Blood Clot Link
Chances of Getting a Venous Thromboembolism May Lie in Men's Waists and Women's Hips
Oct. 26, 2009 -- Obesity is a risk factor for blood clots in veins, and that
may be especially true for men with big waists and women with big hips.
That's according to a new study of the condition, known as venous
thromboembolism, published online in Circulation.
The study included more than 56,000 men and women in Denmark who were
followed for about a decade.
When the study started, participants got their height, weight, waist, and
hips measured. They also answered questions about their health and lifestyle
During the study, the group had 641 cases of venous thromboembolism (VTE).
VTE can be life-threatening if the blood clots travel to the lungs.
As expected, obesity was linked to a greater likelihood of developing a VTE.
But where the weight gain occurred was key and affected men and women
Obese men with big waists were particularly likely to develop VTEs. But for
women, hip size mattered, not waist size. This relationship was independent of
other risk factors, such as smoking, physical activity, height, hypertension,
diabetes, cholesterol, and among women, the use of hormone replacement
"In women, hip circumference is more informative than waist circumference
when predicting the risk of VTE ... whereas waist circumference is more
informative than hip circumference in men," write the researchers, who included
Marianne Tang Severinsen, MD, of Denmark's Aarhus University Hospital.
The reason for those patterns isn't clear from this study.