In the present study, we investigated the associations of the body mass index (BMI
kg/m2) and the waist to hip circumference ratio (WHR) with metabolic features in 134 Japanese women ranging in age from 24 to 79 years. We found that the BMI was reasonably well correlated with the WHR (r=0.693, p<
0.001), which may be related to the health risk profile. The BMI and WHR both showed significant negative correlation with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) level, and positive correlation with triglyceride (TG) and plasma glucose (GL) levels and systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Following adjustment for the effect of the BMI, the partial correlation coefficients of WHR with HDL, TG, and GL were lower than those obtained before adjustment, and were not significant. However, the partial correlation coefficient of WHR with HDL/total cholesterol ratio (HDL/TC), SBP, and DBP were significant. These results suggest that the levels of HDL, TG and GL are associated with the BMI among subjects with similar WHR. We therefore propose that a combination of the BMI and WHR would be a superior indicator in obesity screening than the BMI alone. © 1994, The Japanese Society of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine. All rights reserved.