Background and aims: Prior studies have described an association between calf circumference and cardiovascular disorders. We evaluated the associations between calf, thigh, and arm circumference and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Methods and results: We performed a retrospective cohort study of 11,871 patients in the 1999–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the association between calf circumference and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards. We additionally examined the association between thigh and arm circumference and mortality. In the multivariable Cox regression for the female stratum, each centimeter increase in calf circumference was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.88 (95% CI 0.84–0.92), and a hazard ratio of 0.90 (95% CI 0.85–0.95) for cardiovascular death. In the model with males, the hazard ratio for higher calf circumference was 0.92 (95% CI 0.88–0.96) for all-cause mortality and 0.94 (95% CI 0.89–0.99) for cardiovascular death. There was a statistically significant association between higher thigh circumference and lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Arm circumference was not similarly associated with mortality in the multivariate model. Conclusion: Calf and thigh circumference may provide important prognostic information regarding cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Future prospective studies should examine the role of extremity circumference and cardiovascular events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine