We aimed to evaluate the relationship between different types of obesity and cardiovascular risk indicators. A total of 623 overweight (body mass index [BMI] > 25 kg/m(2)), and 2559 obese (BMI > 30 kg/m(2)) women were divided into four groups according to their BMI and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR): simple overweight (BMI 25 - 30 kg/m(2) and WHR < 0.8, n = 371), abdominal adiposity (BMI 25 - 30 kg/m(2) and WHR > 0.8, n = 252), peripheral (pure) obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m(2) and WHR < 0.8, n = 918) and central obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m(2) and WHR > 0.8, n = 1641). The levels of the risk indicators measured (clinical, anthropometric and laboratory) were significantly higher in the central obesity group. Total body fat and abdominal fat accumulation seems to result in more serious hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance in central obesity. Measuring BMI and WHR in obese patients may reveal their risk for coronary heart disease.