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Epidemiology and Population Health

The association between general and central obesity and the risks of coronary heart disease in women with and without a familial predisposition to obesity: findings from the Danish Nurse Cohort


Several studies show an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) among people with obesity, but it is largely unknown whether this association also depends on a familial predisposition to obesity. This study examined if associations between Body Mass Index (BMI) or waist circumference (WC) and incident CHD differed among Danish female nurses with and without familial overweight and obesity. Analyses were based on data from the Danish Nurse Cohort (n = 20,701). Self-reported height, weight and self-measured WC were assessed in 1999, as was information on familial overweight/obesity, defined as having one or both parents with overweight/obesity. Information on the development of or death from CHD was collected from nationwide Danish registries in 2015. Analyses were based on Cox proportional hazard regression models adjusted for potential confounding factors. Both BMI and WC were directly associated with CHD risk, but we found no evidence of effect modification from familial predisposition to obesity. Hence a familial predisposition to obesity does not seem to influence the risk of CHD associated with general or central obesity.

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The author’s responsibilities were as follows: MKS was involved in data collection and design of the Danish Nurse Cohort; MDH, AJA and BLH designed the present study; SCL implemented all statistical analyses; MDH and AJA wrote first draft of the paper; all authors were involved in editing the paper; all authors approved the final content of the paper.

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Correspondence to Berit L. Heitmann.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Hammer, M.D., Andersen, A.J., Larsen, S.C. et al. The association between general and central obesity and the risks of coronary heart disease in women with and without a familial predisposition to obesity: findings from the Danish Nurse Cohort. Int J Obes (2021).

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