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Goodbye B.M.I.

For years, B.M.I. (or Body Mass Index) has been the common indicator of potential risks of cardiovascular disease. But, there is a "new guy" in town.

Consider your waist-to-hip ratio (i.e. your waist measurement divided by your hip measurement). An average value is below 0.85 for women and below 0.9 for men. Any value above that is a risk for heart disease...the higher the value, the higher the risk.

Contrary to the predictive use of the B.M.I., researcher Dr. Salim Yusuf has shown that this new measure reveals consistent relationships even after adjusting for age, sex, geographic region, and use of tobacco.

So, measure your waist-to-hip ratios as a check on your health.

Source: New York Times, November 11, 2005.