Individual contributions of obesity and physical fitness (physical activity
and functional capacity) to risk of coronary heart disease in women remain
To investigate the relationships of measures of obesity (body mass index
[BMI], waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, and waist-height ratio) and physical
fitness (self-reported Duke Activity Status Index [DASI] and Postmenopausal
Estrogen-Progestin Intervention questionnaire [PEPI-Q] scores) with coronary
artery disease (CAD) risk factors, angiographic CAD, and adverse cardiovascular
(CV) events in women evaluated for suspected myocardial ischemia.
Design, Setting, and Participants
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute–sponsored Women's
Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) is a multicenter prospective cohort study.
From 1996-2000, 936 women were enrolled at 4 US academic medical centers at
the time of clinically indicated coronary angiography and then assessed (mean
follow-up, 3.9 [SD, 1.8] years) for adverse outcomes.
Main Outcome Measures
Prevalence of obstructive CAD (any angiographic stenosis ≥50%) and
incidence of adverse CV events (all-cause death or hospitalization for nonfatal
myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, unstable angina,
or other vascular events) during follow-up.
Of 906 women (mean age, 58 [SD, 12] years) with complete data, 19% were
of nonwhite race, 76% were overweight (BMI ≥25), 70% had low functional
capacity (DASI scores <25, equivalent to ≤7 metabolic equivalents [METs]),
and 39% had obstructive CAD. During follow-up, 337 (38%) women had a first
adverse event, 118 (13%) had a major adverse event, and 68 (8%) died. Overweight
women were more likely than normal weight women to have CAD risk factors,
but neither BMI nor abdominal obesity measures were significantly associated
with obstructive CAD or adverse CV events after adjusting for other risk factors
(P = .05 to .88). Conversely, women with lower DASI
scores were significantly more likely to have CAD risk factors and obstructive
CAD (44% vs 26%, P<.001) at baseline, and each
1-MET increase in DASI score was independently associated with an 8% (hazard
ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.85-0.99; P =
.02) decrease in risk of major adverse CV events during follow-up.
Among women undergoing coronary angiography for suspected ischemia,
higher self-reported physical fitness scores were independently associated
with fewer CAD risk factors, less angiographic CAD, and lower risk for adverse
CV events. Measures of obesity were not independently associated with these