BACKGROUND Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and its prohormone activating enzyme are associated with central obesity, suggesting there may be a potential relationship between proANP1-98 and central obesity. However, the association is still lack of population-based evidence. We explored the association in a general population of China. METHODS We measured plasma proANP1-98, waist circumference and other traditional biomarkers in 2203 participants aged≥30y. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to determine the association between plasma proANP1-98 and central obesity, and odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. RESULTS High proANP1-98 was significantly associated with increased risk of central obesity in participants, and the multivariate adjusted OR (95% CI) of central obesity associated with the second, third and fourth quartiles of proANP1-98 were 1.33 (1.03-1.72), 1.69 (1.31-2.19) and 1.76 (1.35-2.29), respectively, compared with the lowest quartile of proANP1-98. There was a dose-response relationship between proANP1-98 and risk of central obesity among the participants (Ptrend<0.001). Sensitivity analyses further confirmed these associations. Adding proANP1-98 to a model containing conventional risk factors improved discriminatory power of central obesity (as shown by significant improvement in continuous NRI and IDI). CONCLUSIONS Contrary to known reduced ANP levels in central obesity, we found that plasma proANP1-98 was positively associated with central obesity, suggesting that elevated plasma proANP1-98 may be a marker or a risk factor for central obesity.