Waist-to-height ratio may best BMI in predicting life span

Data presented at the European Congress on Obesity showed that a person's waist-to-height ratio is more closely associated with mortality risk than BMI is, suggesting that it may be a better tool for predicting life expectancy and health risks in patients. Researchers found life expectancy in people with the highest waist-to-height ratios was 17 years below average. "If you are measuring waist-to-height ratio you are getting a much earlier [prediction] that something is going wrong, and then you can do something about it," said researcher Margaret Ashwell, who noted the approach also works for children.

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