Waist-to-height ratio is significantly associated with waist circumference and may serve as a predictor of multiple metabolic risk factors, according to research in Journal of Diabetes Investigation.
In a cross-sectional study of adults in northern China, Xin Guan, of the department of cardiology at First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China, and colleagues analyzed data from 11,568 adults older than 35 years (6,215 women). Researchers measured BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio and waist-to-hip ratio, using a partial correlation coefficient to measure intercorrelations between each obesity index and metabolic risk factors, in addition to calculating area under the curve (AUC), optimal cut-off values, sensitivity and specificity of obesity indices. Blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose and lipid profiles were also measured.
Researchers found that the partial correlation coefficient for waist-to-height ratio and waist circumference was 0.947. AUC was greatest for waist-to-height ratio at 0.689 (95% CI, 0.675-0.703) for men and 0.696 (95% CI, 0.683-0.709) for women, followed by waist circumference at 0.687 (95% CI, 0.673-0.701) for men and 0.688 (95% CI, 0.674-0.701) for women.
The optimal waist-to-height ratio cut-off value for diagnosing multiple metabolic risk factors for men was 0.5 with a 65.3% sensitivity and 63.7% specificity vs. a cut-off of 84.38 cm for waist circumference with a 58.5% sensitivity and 69.8% specificity. The waist-to-height ratio cut-off value for women was 0.52 with a 61.8% sensitivity and 68.2% specificity vs. a cut-off value of 80.02 cm for waist circumference with a 65.5% sensitivity and 63.8% specificity, according to researchers.
“In our study, the [waist-to-height ratio] and [waist circumference] exhibit a stronger correlation with each metabolic risk factor than the other indexes,” the researchers wrote. “However, we did not detect an obvious difference between the [waist-height ratio] and [waist circumference].” – by Regina Schaffer
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.