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September 1, 1989

Smoking Wastes a Good Parisienne-Reply

Author Affiliations

National Institute on Aging Baltimore, Md

National Institute on Aging Baltimore, Md

JAMA. 1989;262(9):1186. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430090047023

In Reply. —  We thank Bonithon-Kopp et al and Seidell et al for sharing the results of their cross-sectional studies on French women and Swedish men, respectively. Both groups confirm the harmful smoking-waist-hip ratio (WHR) association that we reported. The 0.5% larger WHR in women who are heavy smokers compared with nonsmokers is much smaller than the differences we found in men, a 2.1% larger WHR in those who smoke 21 to 40 cigarettes per day than in nonsmokers and a 4% larger WHR in those who smoke more than 40 cigarettes per day. This comparison suggests that the effect of smoking on the distribution of body fat in women is only one fourth or one eighth as great as that in men.We now have analyzed cross-sectional data from 289 women in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (Table 3). Too few women have spontaneously changed their smoking habits