Assessing Indicators of Central Obesity as Hypertensive Risk Factors

  • Alexis Dimitrios Stamatikos Texas Tech University
  • Farzad Deyhim Texas A&M University- Kingsville
Keywords: Body Mass Index, Central Obesity, Computed Tomography, Dual-Emission X-Ray Absorptiometry, Hypetension, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Risk Factors, Ultrasonography, Waist Circumference, Waist-to-Hip Ratio, Waist-to-Stature Ratio


Hypertension, colloquially known as high blood pressure, is a severe public health concern in the United States.  Nearly one in three American adults aged 20 or over suffers from hypertension.  Hypertension may lead to left ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, myocardial infarction, cerebral vascular accident, retinopathy, and renal failure. Risk factors for hypertension are numerous and include age, gender, ethnicity, sedentary lifestyle, excessive sodium intake, smoking, diabetes, heavy alcohol consumption, and recreational drug abuse. One of the most familiar markers used as a risk factor for hypertension is obesity based on body mass index. However, while body mass index is easy and inexpensive to apply, it has disadvantages and may not be the best suited marker for certain populations. A better predicting marker for hypertension instead of body mass index may be to measure or estimate intra-abdominal adiposity, commonly known as visceral fat. The clinical name of excessive amounts of adipose tissue around the midsection is central obesity. There are many techniques and procedures to evaluate central obesity, ranging from taking simple measurements and performing straightforward calculations, to utilizing high technologically advanced and expensive equipment. The purpose of this review is to thoroughly assess the rationality of employing central obesity as a risk factor for hypertension and to analyze which diagnostic tests and criteria, if any, are superior compared to others during the testing of both general and special populations.

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Author Biographies

Alexis Dimitrios Stamatikos, Texas Tech University
Teaching Assistant & PhD Student in the Department of Nutrition
Farzad Deyhim, Texas A&M University- Kingsville
Associate Professor and Dietetic Internship Director in the Department of Human Sciences

How to Cite
Stamatikos, A. D., & Deyhim, F. (2012). Assessing Indicators of Central Obesity as Hypertensive Risk Factors. Journal of Student Research, 1(2), 11-18. Retrieved from
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