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September 1, 1989

Smoking Wastes a Good Parisienne

Author Affiliations

Paris, France

Paris, France

JAMA. 1989;262(9):1185. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430090047021

To the Editor. —  A recent report by Shimokata et al1 suggests that, in men, smoking might have an inverse effect on body mass index and the repartition of body fat by decreasing the body mass index and increasing the waist-hip ratio. Little is known about the associations between smoking and distribution of body fat in women.Data similar to those of Shimokata et al1 are available in a cross-sectional study on the repartition of body fat performed among 408 French women aged 20 to 65 years employed in a department store in Paris, France. Although there was a weak but not significant negative association between body mass index and smoking status, there was a significant increase in the waist-hip ratio among the heaviest smokers (Table 1), thus confirming in a female population the previous finding of an unfavorable effect of smoking on the distribution of body fat in