Data from 11 different cohort studies, involving more than 600,000 people from around the world, has found that:
- men with waists 43 inches (114 cm) or greater in circumference had a 50% higher mortality risk than men with waists less than 35 inches (89 cm), giving them about a three-year lower life expectancy after age 40.
- women with a waist circumference of 37 inches (94 cm) or greater had about an 80% higher mortality risk than women with a waist circumference of 27 inches or less (68.5 cm), giving them about a five-year lower life expectancy after age 40.
Risk increased in a linear fashion such that for every 2 inches of greater circumference, mortality risk went up about 7% in men and about 9% in women. The association was observed regardless of BMI.