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1.  Abdominal obesity and serum adiponectin complexes among population-based elementary school children in Japan: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:81.
There are a limited number of studies regarding the association between abdominal obesity and serum adiponectin complexes (high, medium, and low molecular weight adiponectins) among population-based elementary school children, especially in Japan, where blood collection is not usually performed during annual health examinations of school children. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between abdominal obesity and serum adiponectin complexes among population-based elementary school children in Japan.
Subjects were all the fourth-grade school children (9 or 10 years of age) in the town of Ina during 2005–2008 (N = 1675). The height, weight, percent body fat, and waist circumference (WC) of each subject were measured. Blood samples were drawn from subjects to measure adiponectin isoform values. Childhood abdominal obesity was defined as “a waist-to-height ratio greater than or equal to 0.5” or “a WC greater than or equal to 75 cm”. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test and the logistic regression model were used to analyze the association between abdominal obesity and each adiponectin isoform value.
Data from 1654 subjects (846 boys and 808 girls) were analyzed. Adiponectin complexes were lower in the abdominal obesity group than in the non-abdominal obesity group regardless of sex. Abdominal obesity significantly increased the odds ratio (OR) for each adiponectin isoform level less than or equal to the median value in boys; the OR (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 2.50 (1.59-3.92) for high molecular weight adiponectin (HMW-adn), 2.47 (1.57-3.88) for medium molecular weight adiponectin (MMW-adn), and 1.75 (1.13-2.70) for low molecular weight adiponectin (LMW-adn). In girls, the OR (95% CI) was 1.95 (1.18-3.21) for HMW-adn, 1.40 (0.86-2.28) for MMW-adn, and 1.06 (0.65-1.70) for LMW-adn.
Abdominal obesity was associated with lower adiponectin complexes and the influence of abdominal obesity varied by adiponectin isoform. Furthermore, the impact of abdominal obesity was larger in boys than in girls. The present study results suggest that prevention of abdominal obesity could contribute to the prevention of lower adiponectin levels, especially in boys.
PMCID: PMC3986877  PMID: 24670108
Abdominal obesity; Serum adiponectin complexes; School children; Population-based epidemiological study
2.  Central obesity in Yemeni children: A population based cross-sectional study 
World Journal of Cardiology  2013;5(8):295-304.
AIM: To establish percentile curves and to explore prevalence and correlates of central obesity among Yemeni children in a population based cross-sectional study.
METHODS: A representative sample of 3114 Yemeni children (1564 boys, 1550 girls) aged 6-19 years participating in the HYpertension and Diabetes in Yemen study was studied. Data collection was conducted at home by survey teams composed of two investigators of both genders. Study questionnaire included questions about demographics, lifestyle, and medical history. Anthropometric measurements included body weight, height, waist circumference (WC) and hip circumferences. Waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were then calculated. Age and gender specific smoothed percentiles of WC, WHR, and WHtR were obtained using lambda-mu-sigma parameters (LMS method). The independent predictors of central obesity defined as (1) WC percentile ≥ 90th; (2) WHtR ≥ 0.5; or (3) WC percentile ≥ 90th and WHtR ≥ 0.5, were identified at multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, gender, urban/rural location, years of school education, sedentary/active life-style.
RESULTS: Percentile curves for WC, WHR and WHtR are presented. Average WC increased with age for both genders. Boys had a higher WC than girls until early adolescence and thereafter girls had higher values than boys. WHR decreased both in boys and girls until early adolescence. Thereafter while in boys it plateaued in girls it continued to decrease. Mean WHtR decreased until early adolescence with no gender related differences and thereafter increased more in girls than in boys towards adult age. Prevalence of central obesity largely varied according to the definition used which was 10.9% for WC ≥ 90th percentile, 18.3% for WHtR ≥ 0.5, and 8.6% when fulfilling both criteria. At adjusted logistic regression WC ≥ 90th percentiles and WHtR ≥ 0.5 were less prevalent in rural than in urban areas (OR = 0.52, 95%CI: 0.41-0.67 and 0.66, 0.54-0.79 respectively), being more prevalent in children with sedentary lifestyle rather than an active one (1.52, 95%CI: 1.17-1.98 and 1.42, 95%CI: 1.14-1.75, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Yemeni children central obesity indices percentile curves are presented. Central obesity prevalence varied according to the definition used and was more prevalent in urban sedentary subjects.
PMCID: PMC3761183  PMID: 24009819
Central obesity; Waist circumference; Waist-to-height ratio; Waist to hip ratio; Developing countries
3.  Waist circumference, waist-hip ratio and waist-height ratio percentiles and central obesity among Pakistani children aged five to twelve years 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:105.
Central obesity has been associated with the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease in children and anthropometric indices predictive of central obesity include waist circumference (WC), waist-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-height ratio (WHtR). South Asian children have higher body fat distribution in the trunk region but the literature regarding WC and related indices is scarce in this region. The study was aimed to provide age- and gender-specific WC, WHR and WHtR smoothed percentiles, and to explore prevalence and correlates of central obesity, among Pakistani children aged five to twelve years.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with a representative multistage random cluster sample of 1860 primary school children aged five to twelve years in Lahore, Pakistan. Smoothed percentile curves were constructed for WC, WHR and WHtR by the LMS method. Central obesity was defined as having both age- and gender-specific WC percentile ≥90th and WHtR ≥0.5. Chi-square test was used as the test of trend. Multivariate logistic regression was used to quantify the independent predictors of central obesity and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% CI were obtained. Linear regression was used to explore the independent determinants of WC and WHtR. Statistical significance was considered at P < 0.05.
First ever age- and gender-specific smoothed WC, WHR and WHtR reference curves for Pakistani children aged five to twelve years are presented. WC increased with age among both boys and girls. Fiftieth WC percentile curves for Pakistani children were higher as compared to those for Hong Kong and British children, and were lower as compared to those for Iranian, German and Swiss children. WHR showed a plateau pattern among boys while plateau among girls until nine years of age and decreased afterwards. WHtR was age-independent among both boys and girls, and WHtR cut-off of ≥0.5 for defining central obesity corresponded to 85th WHtR percentile irrespective of age and gender. Twelve percent children (95% CI 10.1-13.0) had a WC ≥90th percentile and 16.5% children (95% CI 14.7-18.1) had a WHtR ≥0.5 while 11% children (95% CI 8.9-11.6) had both WC ≥90th percentile and WHtR ≥0.5. Significant predictors of central obesity included higher grade, urban area with high socioeconomic status (SES), high-income neighborhood and higher parental education. Children studying in higher grade (aOR 5.11, 95% CI 1.76-14.85) and those living in urban area with high SES (aOR 82.34, 95% CI 15.76-430.31) showed a significant independent association. Urban area with high SES and higher parental education showed a significant independent association with higher WC and higher WHtR while higher grade showed a significant independent association with higher WC.
Comprehensive worldwide reference values are needed to define central obesity and the present study is the first one to report anthropometric indices predictive of central obesity for Pakistani school-aged children. Eleven percent children were centrally obese and strong predictors included higher grade, urban area with high SES and higher parental education. These findings support the need for developing a National strategy for childhood obesity and implementing targeted interventions, prioritizing the higher social class and involving communities.
PMCID: PMC3239239  PMID: 22104025
4.  Relationship of body mass index to percent body fat and waist circumference among schoolchildren in Japan - the influence of gender and obesity: a population-based cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:493.
Although the correlation coefficient between body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (%BF) or waist circumference (WC) has been reported, studies conducted among population-based schoolchildren to date have been limited in Japan, where %BF and WC are not usually measured in annual health examinations at elementary schools or junior high schools. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship of BMI to %BF and WC and to examine the influence of gender and obesity on these relationships among Japanese schoolchildren.
Subjects included 3,750 schoolchildren from the fourth and seventh grade in Ina-town, Saitama Prefecture, Japan between 2004 and 2008. Information about subject's age, sex, height, weight, %BF, and WC was collected from annual physical examinations. %BF was measured with a bipedal biometrical impedance analysis device. Obesity was defined by the following two criteria: the obese definition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the definition of obesity for Japanese children. Pearson's correlation coefficients between BMI and %BF or WC were calculated separately for sex.
Among fourth graders, the correlation coefficients between BMI and %BF were 0.74 for boys and 0.97 for girls, whereas those between BMI and WC were 0.94 for boys and 0.90 for girls. Similar results were observed in the analysis of seventh graders. The correlation coefficient between BMI and %BF varied by physique (obese or non-obese), with weaker correlations among the obese regardless of the definition of obesity; most correlation coefficients among obese boys were less than 0.5, whereas most correlations among obese girls were more than 0.7. On the other hand, the correlation coefficients between BMI and WC were more than 0.8 among boys and almost all coefficients were more than 0.7 among girls, regardless of physique.
BMI was positively correlated with %BF and WC among Japanese schoolchildren. The correlations could be influenced by obesity as well as by gender. Accordingly, it is essential to consider gender and obesity when using BMI as a surrogate for %BF and WC for epidemiological use.
PMCID: PMC2933721  PMID: 20716379
5.  Utility of waist-to-height ratio in assessing the status of central obesity and related cardiometabolic risk profile among normal weight and overweight/obese children: The Bogalusa Heart Study 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:73.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is widely used to assess the impact of obesity on cardiometabolic risk in children but it does not always relate to central obesity and varies with growth and maturation. Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) is a relatively constant anthropometric index of abdominal obesity across different age, sex or racial groups. However, information is scant on the utility of WHtR in assessing the status of abdominal obesity and related cardiometabolic risk profile among normal weight and overweight/obese children, categorized according to the accepted BMI threshold values.
Cross-sectional cardiometabolic risk factor variables on 3091 black and white children (56% white, 50% male), 4-18 years of age were used. Based on the age-, race- and sex-specific percentiles of BMI, the children were classified as normal weight (5th - 85th percentiles) and overweight/obese (≥ 85th percentile). The risk profiles of each group based on the WHtR (<0.5, no central obesity versus ≥ 0.5, central obesity) were compared.
9.2% of the children in the normal weight group were centrally obese (WHtR ≥0.5) and 19.8% among the overweight/obese were not (WHtR < 0.5). On multivariate analysis the normal weight centrally obese children were 1.66, 2.01, 1.47 and 2.05 times more likely to have significant adverse levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin, respectively. In addition to having a higher prevalence of parental history of type 2 diabetes mellitus, the normal weight central obesity group showed a significantly higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (p < 0.0001). In the overweight/obese group, those without central obesity were 0.53 and 0.27 times less likely to have significant adverse levels of HDL cholesterol and HOMA-IR, respectively (p < 0.05), as compared to those with central obesity. These overweight/obese children without central obesity also showed significantly lower prevalence of parental history of hypertension (p = 0.002), type 2 diabetes mellitus (p = 0.03) and metabolic syndrome (p < 0.0001).
WHtR not only detects central obesity and related adverse cardiometabolic risk among normal weight children, but also identifies those without such conditions among the overweight/obese children, which has implications for pediatric primary care practice.
PMCID: PMC2964659  PMID: 20937123
6.  Are rural South African children abdominally obese? 
Objectives: While available data exist on total body fat of rural South African children, as measured by body mass index, little is known concerning the abdominal obesity of rural South African children. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of abdominal obesity among rural South African children.
Methods : Participants involved 1 172 rural black school children (541 boys and 631 girls) aged 10−16 years, residing in Mankweng and Toronto, both rural black settlements in Capricorn district, Limpopo province, South Africa. Height, weight and waist circumference were measured using standard techniques. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) was calculated. A WHtR ≤ 0.50 was used to determine abdominal obesity. Results were analysed using student t-test and Chi-squared statistics, with a p-value of < 0.05.
Results : Waist-to-height ratio showed inconsistent results in both sexes and across age groups, with no significant differences among boys and girls in all age groups. The proportion of boys with a WHtR ≥ 0.5 was 69 (12.8%), while girls were 92 (14.6%). The highest proportion of WHtR occurs at age 11 in boys, while this proportionality increases with age in girls, peaking at ages 14-16 years. Overall, 161 (13.7%) children had central obesity.
Conclusions : This study indicates that abdominal obesity as measured by WHtR is prevalent among rural black South African children. The prevalence of WHtR ≥ 0.5 (13.7%) among the children is worrisome, as its signals the presence of obesity-related problems and the likely susceptibility of these sample children to future health risks. Therefore, interventions strategies are needed to reduce central obesity among children.
PMCID: PMC3809315  PMID: 24353619
Abdominal obesity; Waist-to-height ratio; Rural children
7.  Waist-to-Height Ratio Percentiles and Cutoffs for Obesity: A Cross-sectional Study in Brazilian Adolescents 
This study aimed to describe the distribution of waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) percentiles and cutoffs for obesity in Brazilian adolescents. A cross-sectional study including adolescents aged 10 to 15 years was conducted in the city of São Paulo, Brazil; anthropometric measurements (weight, height, and waist-circumference) were taken, and WHtRs were calculated and then divided into percentiles derived by using Least Median of Squares (LMS) regression. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used in determining cutoffs for obesity (BMI ≥97th percentile) and Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for comparing variables. The study included 8,019 adolescents from 43 schools, of whom 54.5% were female, and 74.8% attended public schools. Boys had higher mean WHtR than girls (0.45±0.06 vs 0.44±0.05; p=0.002) and higher WHtR at the 95th percentile (0.56 vs 0.54; p<0.05). The WHtR cutoffs according to the WHO criteria ranged from 0.467 to 0.506 and 0.463 to 0.496 among girls and boys respectively, with high sensitivity (82.8-95%) and specificity (84-95.5%). The WHtR was significantly associated with body adiposity measured by BMI. Its age-specific percentiles and cutoffs may be used as additional surrogate markers of central obesity and its co-morbidities.
PMCID: PMC4221447  PMID: 25395904
Adolescents; Central adiposity; Obesity; Waist-to-height ratio; Brazil
8.  Prevalence of Abdominal Obesity in Spanish Children and Adolescents. Do We Need Waist Circumference Measurements in Pediatric Practice? 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e87549.
Evidence indicates that central adiposity has increased to a higher degree than general adiposity in children and adolescents in recent decades. However, waist circumference is not a routine measurement in clinical practice.
This study aimed to determine the prevalence of abdominal obesity based on waist circumferences (WC) and waist to height ratio (WHtR) in Spanish children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years. Further, the prevalence of abdominal obesity (AO) among normal and overweight individuals was analyzed.
Data were obtained from a study conducted from 1998 to 2000 in a representative national sample of 1521 children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years (50.0% female) in Spain. WC and WHtR measurements were obtained in addition to BMI. AO was defined as WHtR ≥0.50 (WHtR-AO), sex and age specific WC≥90th percentile (WC-AO1), and sex and age specific WC cut-off values associated with high trunk fat measured by by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (WC-AO2).
IOTF- based overweight and obsity prevalence was 21.5% and 6.6% in children and 17.4% and 5.2% in adolescents, respectively. Abdominal obesity (AO) was defined as WHtR≥0.50 (WHtR-AO), sex- and age-specific WC≥90th percentile (WC-AO1), and sex- and age-specific WC cut-off values associated with high trunk fat measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (WC-AO2). The respective prevalence of WHtR-AO, WC-AO1, and WC-AO2 was 21.3% (24.6% boys; 17.9% girls), 9.4% (9.1% boys; 9.7% girls), and 26.8% (30.6% boys;22.9% girls) in children and 14.3% (20.0% boys; 8.7% girls), 9.6% (9.8% boys; 9.5% girls), and 21.1% (28.8% boys; 13.7% girls) in adolescents.
The prevalence of AO in Spanish children and adolescents is of concern. The high proportion of AO observed in young patients who are normal weight or overweight indicates a need to include waist circumference measurements in routine clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3903726  PMID: 24475305
9.  Cardiometabolic Risk Assessments by Body Mass Index z-Score or Waist-to-Height Ratio in a Multiethnic Sample of Sixth-Graders 
Journal of Obesity  2014;2014:421658.
Convention defines pediatric adiposity by the body mass index z-score (BMIz) referenced to normative growth charts. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) does not depend on sex-and-age references. In the HEALTHY Study enrollment sample, we compared BMIz with WHtR for ability to identify adverse cardiometabolic risk. Among 5,482 sixth-grade students from 42 middle schools, we estimated explanatory variations (R2) and standardized beta coefficients of BMIz or WHtR for cardiometabolic risk factors: insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), lipids, blood pressures, and glucose. For each risk outcome variable, we prepared adjusted regression models for four subpopulations stratified by sex and high versus lower fatness. For HOMA-IR, R2 attributed to BMIz or WHtR was 19%–28% among high-fatness and 8%–13% among lower-fatness students. R2 for lipid variables was 4%–9% among high-fatness and 2%–7% among lower-fatness students. In the lower-fatness subpopulations, the standardized coefficients for total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol and triglycerides tended to be weaker for BMIz (0.13–0.20) than for WHtR (0.17–0.28). Among high-fatness students, BMIz and WHtR correlated with blood pressures for Hispanics and whites, but not black boys (systolic) or girls (systolic and diastolic). In 11-12 year olds, assessments by WHtR can provide cardiometabolic risk estimates similar to conventional BMIz without requiring reference to a normative growth chart.
PMCID: PMC4123559  PMID: 25132986
10.  Inflammatory Adipokines, High Molecular Weight Adiponectin, and Insulin Resistance: A Population-Based Survey in Prepubertal Schoolchildren 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e17264.
The aim of this study was to investigate sex differences and associations of high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin, leptin and proinflammatory adipokines, individually or in combinations, with adiposity and insulin resistance (IR) measures in prepubertal childhood.
We studied 305 prepubertal children (boys/girls: 144/161; Tanner stage 1; age: 5-13 yr), included in a cohort of 44,231 adolescents who participated in an extensive Italian school-based survey. According to Cole's criteria, 105 individuals were lean (L; boys/girls: 59/46), 60 overweight (OW; boys/girls: 32/28) and 140 obese (OB; boys/girls: 70/70). Measurements comprised total and HMW adiponectin, leptin, as well as a panel of proinflammatory adipokines/chemokines associated with diabetes risk.
Principal Findings
Leptin-, and the leptin-to-HMW adiponectin ratio (L/HMW)-, increased progressively (p<0.0001) from L to OW to OB boys and girls. When compared with L peers, OW and OB girls exhibited lower (p<0.001) HMW adiponectin levels, while in boys the HMW multimers did not differ significantly across the BMI-stratified groups. OB girls displayed higher (p<0.05) IL-8, IL-18, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 levels (sICAM-1) than L girls, whereas increased macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) concentrations in OB vs OW boys were seen. HMW adiponectin (negatively), leptin or inflammatory markers (positively) correlated with adiposity and IR measures. In multivariate models, leptin represented a strong and independent determinant of HOMA-IR (R2 0.378; p<0.01). Adjustment for age, BMIz-score, lipids and inflammatory mediators abolished the association between leptin and HOMA-IR in boys, while in girls leptin remained still a significant predictor of IR (R2 0.513; p<0.01). Finally, in both sexes, the joint effect of the L/HMW did not improve the prediction of basal IR as compared with leptin levels alone, which were mainly explained by the BMIz-score.
In prepubertal children, leptin emerges as a sex-independent discrimination marker of adiposity degree and as a useful, sex-associated predictor of the systemic insulin resistance.
PMCID: PMC3041818  PMID: 21365005
11.  Is waist-to-height ratio a useful indicator of cardio-metabolic risk in 6-10-year-old children? 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:91.
Childhood obesity is a public health problem worldwide. Visceral obesity, particularly associated with cardio-metabolic risk, has been assessed by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, but both methods use sex-and age-specific percentile tables and are influenced by sexual maturity. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) is easier to obtain, does not involve tables and can be used to diagnose visceral obesity, even in normal-weight individuals. This study aims to compare the WHtR to the 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) reference for BMI in screening for the presence of cardio-metabolic and inflammatory risk factors in 6–10-year-old children.
A cross-sectional study was undertaken with 175 subjects selected from the Reference Center for the Treatment of Children and Adolescents in Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The subjects were classified according to the 2007 WHO standard as normal-weight (BMI z score > −1 and < 1) or overweight/obese (BMI z score ≥ 1). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting glycemia, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride (TG), Homeostatic Model Assessment – Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), leukocyte count and ultrasensitive C-reactive protein (CRP) were also analyzed.
There were significant correlations between WHtR and BMI z score (r = 0.88, p < 0.0001), SBP (r = 0.51, p < 0.0001), DBP (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001), LDL (r = 0.25, p < 0.0008, HDL (r = −0.28, p < 0.0002), TG (r = 0.26, p < 0.0006), HOMA-IR (r = 0.83, p < 0.0001) and CRP (r = 0.51, p < 0.0001). WHtR and BMI areas under the curve were similar for all the cardio-metabolic parameters. A WHtR cut-off value of > 0.47 was sensitive for screening insulin resistance and any one of the cardio-metabolic parameters.
The WHtR was as sensitive as the 2007 WHO BMI in screening for metabolic risk factors in 6-10-year-old children. The public health message “keep your waist to less than half your height” can be effective in reducing cardio-metabolic risk because most of these risk factors are already present at a cut point of WHtR ≥ 0.5. However, as this is the first study to correlate the WHtR with inflammatory markers, we recommend further exploration of the use of WHtR in this age group and other population-based samples.
PMCID: PMC3686671  PMID: 23758779
Waist-to-height ratio; Obesity; Insulin resistance; Cardiovascular disease; Body mass index
12.  Relation of anthropometric variables to coronary artery disease risk factors 
Background and Objectives:
Anthropometric variables and their relation to conventional coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors in railway employees have been inadequately studied in India. This cross-sectional survey was carried out in the Solapur division of the Central railway in the year 2004, to assess the anthropometric variables in railway employees and their relation to conventional CAD risk factors.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 995 railway employees, with 872 males and 123 females participated in this cross-sectional study. All subjects underwent anthropometric measurements, fasting lipid profile, and blood sugar level. Various anthropometric indices were calculated for body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and abdominal volume index (AVI). Statistical analysis was done by EPI Info 6 statistical software.
Compared to all other obesity indices, WHtR was most prevalent in both genders. High WHtR was present in 699 (80.16%) males and 103 (83.73%) females. Age ≥45 years, high systolic BP, high diastolic BP, low HDL, high triglyceride, and diabetes mellitus were positively correlated with high BMI, high WC, high WHR, high WHtR, and high AVI. High BMI, high WC, high WHR, high WHtR, and high AVI were negatively associated with physical inactivity.
Over all, anthropometric variables in both genders were significantly deranged in subjects with coronary risk factors. Compared to all other anthropometric variables, WHtR was statistically significantly associated with a majority of coronary artery risk factors. Hence we recommend inclusion of WHtR as a parameter of obesity to predict coronary artery disease risk factor along with WC, WHR, and BMI in epidemiologic studies.
PMCID: PMC3079867  PMID: 21584164
Anthropometric variables; abdominal volume index; body mass index; waist circumference; waist-to-hip ratio; waist-to-height ratio
13.  Moderate agreement between body mass index and measures of waist circumference in the identification of overweight among 5-year-old children; the ‘Be active, eat right’ study 
BMC Pediatrics  2013;13:63.
Body mass index (BMI) is a common indirect method to assess weight status among children. There is evidence that BMI data alone can underestimate overweight-related health risk and that waist circumference (WC) should also be measured. In this study we investigated the agreement between BMI and WC and BMI and the waist-height ratio (WHtR) when used to identify overweight among children.
This cross-sectional population-based study uses baseline data from 5-year-olds (n = 7703) collected by healthcare professionals for the ‘Be active, eat right’ study.
According to age-specific and sex-specific cut-off points for BMI (IOTF, 2000) and WC (Fredriks et al., 2005), the prevalence of overweight (obesity included) was 7.0% and 7.1% among boys, and 11.6% and 10.1% among girls, respectively. For the WHtR the 90th percentile was used as the cut-off point. Among boys, observed proportion of agreement between BMI and WC classification was 0.95, Cohen’s kappa 0.58 (95% CI; 0.53-0.63), and proportions of positive and negative agreement were 0.61 and 0.97, respectively. Observed proportion of agreement between BMI and WHtR classification was 0.92, Cohen’s kappa 0.46 (95% CI; 0.41-0.51), and proportions of positive and negative agreement were 0.51 and 0.95. Children identified as overweight according to WC were relatively tall, and children classified as overweight according to the WHtR only were relatively short (comparable results for girls).
There is moderate agreement between BMI and measures of WC on the presence of overweight among 5-year-olds. If BMI data and cut-offs continue to be used, then part of the group of children identified as overweight according to WC and the WHtR will be omitted. Follow-up of the children classified as overweight according to BMI only, WC only, and WHtR only, will give indications whether WC should be measured in addition to BMI or whether WC should only be measured in certain subgroups (e.g. relatively tall or short children) to identify and monitor overweight in children. This may improve early identification and prevention of overweight and overweight-related health problems in children.
PMCID: PMC3679730  PMID: 23617233
Body mass index; Waist circumference; Overweight; Preschool child; Pediatrics; Prevalence
14.  Diabetes prediction, lipid accumulation product, and adiposity measures; 6-year follow-up: Tehran lipid and glucose study 
The body mass index (BMI) is the most commonly used marker for evaluating obesity related risks, however, central obesity measures have been proposed to be more informative. Lipid accumulation product (LAP) is an alternative continuous index of lipid accumulation, which is computed from waist circumference (WC, cm) and triglycerides (TGs, mmol/l): (WC-65) ×TG (men) and (WC-58) ×TG (women). We sought in this study to assess if LAP can outperform BMI, waist-to-height-ratio (WHtR), or waist-to-hip-ratio (WHpR) in identifying prevalent and predicting incident diabetes.
The cross-sectional analyses were performed on a sample included 3,682 men and 4,989 women who were not pregnant, aged ≥ 20 years. According to the age (≥ 50 and <50 years) - and sex-specific analyses, odds ratios (ORs) of LAP for prevalent diabetes were higher than those of BMI, WHpR, or WHtR among women, after adjustment for mean arterial pressure and family history of diabetes. The OR of LAP in old men was lower than those of other adiposity measures; in young men, however, LAP was superior to BMI but identical to WHpR and WHtR in identifying prevalent diabetes. Except in young men, LAP showed highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AROC) for prevalent diabetes (P for trend ≤ 0.005).
For longitudinal analyses, a total of 5,018 non-diabetic subjects were followed for ~6 years. The ORs of BMI, WHpR, and WHtR were the same as those of LAP in both sexes and across age groups; except in young men where LAP was superior to the BMI. AROCs of LAP were relatively the same as anthropometric adiposity measures.
LAP was a strong predictor of diabetes and in young individuals had better predictability than did BMI; it was, however, similar to WHpR and WHtR in prediction of incident diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2876156  PMID: 20459710
15.  The Predictive Value of Waist-To-Height Ratio for Ischemic Stroke in a Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study among Mongolian Men in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110245.
To explore the associations between waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) and risk of ischemic stroke among Mongolian men in China.
A population-based prospective cohort study was conducted from June 2003 to July 2012 in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in north China. A total of 1034 men aged 20 years and older free of cardiovascular disease were included in the cohort and followed up for an average of 9.2 years. The subjects were divided into four groups by WHtR levels (WHtR<0.40, 0.40≤WHtR≤0.50, 0.500.60). The cumulative survival rates of ischemic stroke among the four groups were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier curves and compared by log-rank test. Cox proportional hazards models and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were employed to evaluate the associations between obesity indices and ischemic stroke.
A total of 47 ischemic stroke patients were observed during the follow-up period. The cumulative incidence and incidence density of ischemic stroke were 4.55% and 507.61/100 000 person-years, respectively. After the major risk factors were adjusted, individuals with WHtR>0.60 had a 3.56-fold increased risk of ischemic stroke compared with those with 0.40≤WHtR≤0.50. Hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ischemic stroke for a 1-SD increase in WHtR was 1.34(95% CI: 1.00–1.81). After adding BMI or WC to models, higher WHtR remained significantly associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke. The Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed that the cumulative survival rate in the group with WHtR>0.60 was significantly lower than in the group with 0.40≤WHtR≤0.50 (log-rank test, P = 0.025). The areas under the curve for each index were as follows: 0.586 for WHtR, 0.543 for WC; 0.566 for BMI.
Higher WHtR is associated with risk of ischemic stroke in Mongolian males. WHtR may be useful in predicting ischemic stroke incidence in males.
PMCID: PMC4212917  PMID: 25353632
16.  Variations in Aging, Gender, Menopause, and Obesity and Their Effects on Hypertension in Taiwan 
Aim. We assessed obesity, sex, menopause, and gender differences on hypertension in a Hakka-majority Taiwanese sample. Methods. 9621 subjects aged 20 and over participated in this community-based study. Trained nurses collected blood pressure (BP) measurements and anthropometric indices, including weight, height, hip circumference (HC), waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), waist to height ratio (WHtR), and waist to hip ratio (WHR). Results. Levels of systolic and diastolic BP significantly increased at a dose-dependent relationship based on four anthropometric indices (BMI, WC, WHR, and WHtR); the slopes for SBP and DBP differed. After controlling for other covariates using multivariate logistic regression, we found the adjusted odds ratios (OR) of hypertension to be significantly related to the four anthropometric indices. Notably, the effect of obesity on the ORs for hypertension was considerably higher in premenopausal women, but we found no such phenomenon among men. BMI, WC, WHR, and WHtR had significant linear associations with BP. Conclusion. Obesity indices are significantly correlated with the risk of hypertension across gender and age, with BMI having the highest relative potency. The effect of obesity on the risk of hypertension is especially high in premenopausal women, implying a relationship between hormones and hypertension.
PMCID: PMC4243128  PMID: 25436143
17.  Sex-specific association of anthropometric measures of body composition with arterial stiffness in a healthy population 
Anthropometric measures of body composition and arterial stiffness are commonly used as indicators of cardiovascular risk. Little is known, however, about the association of the anthropometric measures with arterial stiffness, especially in a healthy, generally non-obese population.
In a sample of 352 healthy subjects (200 premenopausal women), 3 arterial stiffness indices were analyzed (pulse wave velocity, augmentation index and central systolic blood pressure) in relation to 5 anthropometric measures of body composition (body mass index – BMI, body fat percentage by skinfold measurements –%BF, waist circumference – WC, waist-hip ratio – WHpR, and waist-height ratio – WHtR). Data were analyzed using correlation and regression analyses, with adjustment for the following confounders: age, blood pressures, height, heart rate, blood lipids and smoking.
Most correlations between anthropometric measures and arterial stiffness indices were significant and positive in both sex groups (r=0.14–0.40, P<0.05). After adjustment for confounding effects, BMI, WC and WHtR remained significant (but inverse) predictors of arterial stiffness (β from −0.06 to −0.16; P<0.05) in the females, while in the males BMI was the only measure inversely predicting arterial stiffness (β from −0.09 to −0.13; P<0.05).
Measures of body composition are weak and inverse predictors of arterial stiffness and their influence is sex-dependent. BMI, WC and WHtR were key predictors of arterial stiffness in the females, while BMI was the principal predictor in the males. The associations of anthropometric measures with arterial stiffness are strongly and differently confounded by various factors that have to be taken into account when explaining results of similar studies.
PMCID: PMC3560590  PMID: 22293879
anthropometric measurements; BMI; arterial stiffness; pulse wave velocity; augmentation index
18.  Waist height ratio: A universal screening tool for prediction of metabolic syndrome in urban and rural population of Haryana 
To compare waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), waist hip ratio (WHR), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and define an appropriate cut-off, which is most closely predictive of the non-adipose components of the IDF metabolic syndrome (MetS) definition.
Methods and Results:
A total of 3,042 adults (1,693 in rural area and 1,349 in urban area) were screened for the presence of MetS according to the IDF definition. Among 3,042 adults selected as subjects, 1,518 were male and 1,524 were female. The receiver operating curve (ROC) analysis was done to determine the optimal cut-off value and the best discriminatory value of each of these anthropometric parameters to predict two or more non-obese components of metabolic syndrome. The area under ROC (AURC) for WC was superior to that for other anthropometric variables. The optimal cut-off value of WC in urban and rural males was >89 cm, which is higher than that in urban and rural females at 83 cm and 79 cm, respectively; the optimal cut-off for WHtR was >0.51 in rural females, 0.52 in rural males, and 0.53 in both urban males and females. Both parameters were found to be better than BMI and WHR. ROC and AURC values for WC were better than those for WHtR in men and women in both urban and rural areas (P = 0.0054); however, when the entire study cohort was analyzed together, irrespective of gender and place of residence, then at a value of 0.52, WHtR scored over WC as a predictor of metabolic syndrome (P = 0.001).
Although the predictive value of different gender-specific WC values is clearly superior to other anthropometric measures for predicting two or more non-adipose components of MetS, a single value of WHtR irrespective of gender and the area of residence can be used as a universal screening tool for the identification of individuals at high risk of development of metabolic complications.
PMCID: PMC4056141  PMID: 24944937
Anthropometric variables; metabolic syndrome; waist-height ratio
19.  Association between Reduction of Plasma Adiponectin Levels and Risk of Bacterial Infection after Gastric Cancer Surgery 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e56129.
Background and Purpose
Infections are important causes of postoperative morbidity after gastric surgery; currently, no factors have been identified that can predict postoperative infection. Adiponectin (ADN) mediates energy metabolism and functions as an immunomodulator. Perioperative ADN levels and perioperative immune functioning could be mutually related. Here we evaluated a potential biological marker to reliably predict the incidence of postoperative infections to prevent such comorbidities.
We analyzed 150 consecutive patients who underwent elective gastric cancer surgery at the Shiga University of Medical Science Hospital (Shiga, Japan) from 1997 to 2009; of these, most surgeries (n = 100) were performed 2008 onwards. The patient characteristics and surgery-related factors between two groups (with and without infection) were compared by the paired t-test and χ2 test, including preoperative ADN levels, postoperative day 1 ADN levels, and ADN ratio (postoperative ADN levels/preoperative ADN levels) as baseline factors. Logistic regression analysis was performed to access the independent association between ADN ratio and postoperative infection. Finally, receiver operating curves (ROCs) were constructed to examine its clinical utility.
Sixty patients (40%) experienced postoperative infections. The baseline values of age, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, total operating time, blood loss, surgical procedure, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, preoperative ADN levels, and ADN ratio were significantly different between groups. Logistic regression analysis using these factors indicated that type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and ADN ratio were significantly independent variables (*p<0.05, ** p<0.01, respectively). ROC analysis revealed that the useful cutoff values (sensitivity/specificity) for preoperative ADN levels, ADN ratio, blood loss, operating time, and CRP levels were 8.81(0.567/0.568), 0.76 (0.767/0.761), 405 g (0.717/0.693), 342 min (0.617/0.614), and 8.94 mg/dl (0.583/0.591), respectively.
T2DM and ADN ratio were independent predictors of postoperative infection and ADN ratio was the most useful predictor for postoperative infection.
PMCID: PMC3592855  PMID: 23520452
20.  Waist-to-Height Ratio Is a Better Anthropometric Index than Waist Circumference and BMI in Predicting Metabolic Syndrome among Obese Mexican Adolescents 
Objective. To identify the degree of association between anthropometric indices and components of metabolic syndrome (MS) and to determine optimal cut-off points of these indices for predicting MS in obese adolescents. Methods. A cross-sectional study with a sample of (n = 110) Mexican obese adolescents grouped by sex and the presence/absence of MS. BMI percentile, waist circumference (WC), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were tested. ROC curves of the anthropometric indices were created to identify whether an index was a significant predictor of MS. Results. BMI percentile, WC, and WHtR were significantly correlated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure. As predictors of MS overall patients, the BMI percentile generated an area under curve (AUC) of 0.651 (P = 0.008), cut-off point above the 99th percentile. WC generated an AUC of 0.704 (P < 0.001), cut-off point of ≥90 cm. WHtR demonstrated an AUC of 0.652 (P = 0.008), cut-off point of 0.60. WHtR ≥0.62 and WHtR ≥0.61 generate AUC of 0.737 (P = 0.006) and AUC of 0.717 (P = 0.014) for predicting hypertension and insulin resistance, respectively, in females. Conclusion. WHtR is a better tool than WC and BMI for identifying cardiometabolic risk. The overall criterion (WHtR ≥ 0.6) could be appropriate for predicting MS in obese Mexican adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4276350  PMID: 25574166
21.  Ethnic differences in the association between waist-to-height ratio and albumin-creatinine ratio: the observational SUNSET study 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:26.
Ethnic differences in the association between central obesity and raised albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR) have not been investigated. Our aim was to determine whether the association between central obesity, defined by the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), and ACR differed between subjects of Hindustani-Surinamese, African-Surinamese and Dutch origin.
In total, 334 Hindustani-Surinamese (~South Asian), 589 African-Surinamese (~African), and 493 Dutch (~European) men and women, aged 35–60 years, randomly selected from the municipal register of Amsterdam, participated in an interview and physical examination.
We calculated the WHtR by dividing the waist circumference by height and the log ACR (logACR, log mg/mmol) by log-transforming the albumin concentration by the creatinine concentration in urine. The association between WHtR and logACR was studied in the total population and stratified by ethnicity. We also tested for interaction.
In the total population, a higher WHtR was associated with a higher logACR, after adjustment for sex, age, and smoking, body mass index and the presence of type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Among the Hindustani-Surinamese, the adjusted association between WHtR and logACR appeared somewhat stronger than among the other ethnic groups: for every 0.1 increase in the WHtR, the log-ACR increased by 0.522 (0.096-0.949) log mg/mmol among the Hindustani-Surinamese, by 0.334 (0.047-0.622) among the African-Surinamese and by 0.356 (−0.010-0.721) among the Dutch. However, the interaction was not statistically significant.
WHtR was associated with a higher ACR among populations of Hindustani-Surinamese, African-Surinamese and Dutch origin. Our study seems to support global use of WHtR in relation to ACR across ethnic groups. However, although not significant, the association appeared slightly stronger among the Hindustani-Surinamese than among the other ethnic groups. If confirmed, this could have implications for use of the WHtR across ethnic groups.
PMCID: PMC3492102  PMID: 22564356
22.  Association Between Waist-to-Height Ratio, Isolated and Combined Morbidities and C-Reactive Protein in the Elderly: A Clinical-Epidemiological Study 
The aim of this study was to analyze the association between waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the elderly (considering their most prevalent morbidities and lifestyles), to investigate the relationship between this anthropometric index and the presence of the most prevalent morbidities (isolated or combined), and to identify which morbidities (analyzed individually) would have greater associations with WHtR. This cross-sectional population-based epidemiological study of a stratified sampling comprised 170 elderly individuals between 60 and 90 years of age (both genders). Home visits were used to administer questionnaires and to perform anthropometric measurements and blood collection. The mean patient age was younger than 70 years, with women comprising the majority (69.41%) and with 90% of the patients presenting with inadequate WHtR. Hypertension was the most prevalent morbidity in this cohort (58.52%), and when analyzed in combination, hypertension plus obesity were the most frequently diagnosed morbidities (17.65%). Obesity, which was among the most prevalent comorbidities, was the only comorbidity combined with WHtR (p = 0.0019). Individuals with no morbidities had lower mean WHtR values compared with individuals with at least one morbidity (p = 0.0075). In the multiple linear regression model, it was identified that when individuals had one or more of the most prevalent comorbidities, the mean WHtR increased by 0.0415 (p = 0.0065). A correlation between WHtR and CRP (p = 0.0379) was also verified. Based on the relationships observed between WHtR (isolated or in combination, data unpublished) and CRP among the elderly, WHtR may represent a screening tool because it is a simple and effective anthropometric index.
PMCID: PMC4199037  PMID: 25229696
waist-to-height ratio; C-reactive protein; morbidities; elderly
23.  Prevalence of diabetes and predictions of its risks using anthropometric measures in southwest rural areas of China 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:821.
To examine the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in Songming county, Yunnan province, South-west China and examine influences of anthropometric indicators on diabetic risk.
This study was a population based cross-sectional study of 1031 subjects in Songming County aged 30 years and older. Age-standardization was performed by using the 2010 Songming population as the standard population. After an overnight fasting, participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), and venous blood glucose levels were measured to identify diabetes and prediabetes. Physicians completed questionnaires and blood pressure measurements; trained nurses measured anthropometric variables. Age-adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess the association between anthropometric variables and diabetes.
Total prevalences of diabetes and prediabetes were 10.0% and 11.6%, respectively. In women, prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes significantly increased with body mass index (BMI),waist hip ratio (WHR), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). But in men, prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes only significantly increased with WHR and WHtR. Compared to 1st WHR tertile in women, there was a nearly tenfold increase in the risk of diabetes with 3rd WHR tertile (OR 10.50, 95% CI 3.95-27.86). Men with 3rd BMI tertile had 4.8-fold risk of getting diabetes compared to men with 1st WHtR tertile (OR 4.79, 95% CI 1.88-12.26). Only WHtR had significantly higher receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area than BMI in total men (0.668 vs. 0.561, p < 0.05). And in total women, only WHR had significantly higher ROC area than BMI (0.723 vs. 0.628, p < 0.05). In the partial correlation analysis controlling for waist circumference, only WHR had significant correlation with fasting plasma glucose (r = 0.132, p = 0.002) and 2-h plasma glucose (r = 0.162, p = 0.000) in women, and WHtR had a much stronger association with both fasting plasma glucose (r = 0.305, P = 0.000) and 2 h plasma glucose (r = 0.303, P = 0.000) than WHR in men.
High prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes were found in this underdeveloped region. About half of total subjects with diabetes were undiagnosed. The association of obesity indices and diabetic risk factors varied with gender. The strongest predictors of diabetes were WHR for the female subgroup and WHtR for the male subgroup.
PMCID: PMC3549931  PMID: 22998969
Obesity; Waist-to-height ratio; Body mass index; Waist hip ratio; Diabetes type 2
24.  Waist Circumference and Waist-to-Height Ratio Distributions in Polish and German Schoolchildren: Comparative Analysis 
To analyze differences in the distributions of waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) between Polish (PL) and German (GE) children and adolescents.
Two samples of children and adolescents aged 7-18 y: From PL (n = 11,326) GE (n = 8,218) participated. The two WC cut-off points (WC1 as central fat distribution and WC2 as central obesity) corresponding at age 18 to the adult criteria were determined. Furthermore, the mean WC cut-off points (WC1m, WC2m) for boys and girls aged 14-18 from both countries were evaluated. For the WHtR, values over 0.5 were used as a definition of central fat distribution. The effect of different WC and WHtR criteria on the prevalence of abdominal obesity in both study groups was evaluated.
The mean and percentile values of WC and WHtR were generally higher in all German children as compared to their peers from Poland. When WC1m is used, the mean (95% CI) prevalence of central fat distribution in the 14-18 y Polish groups was lower (P < 0.05) than those from Germany (boys: 4.4% (3.6-5.2) vs. 8.9% (7.3-10.5); girls: 10.7% (9.0-12.3) vs. 26.4% (23.2-29.6)), whereas, using the WHtR > 0.5, the results were similar for boys - 6.7% (5.9-7.5) vs. 8.5% (8.1-8.9); they were significantly (P < 0.05) lower for Polish and German girls: 5.3% (5.0-5.6) vs. 12.7% (9.7-16.4). The prevalence of central obesity using WC2m as a criterion in the Polish vs. German groups was as follows: (boys - 1.1% (0.8-1.4) vs. 3.1% (2.2-4.0), P < 0.05; girls - 3.1% (2.5-3.7) vs. 10.2% (8.4-12.0), P < 0.05).
The results highlight the greater central obesity associated with the German children, both in terms of WC and WHtR, in comparison to their peers from Poland. The prevalence of AO is significantly associated with the criteria used. The results demonstrate the need for the development of international WC references for pediatric subjects.
PMCID: PMC3775218  PMID: 24049597
Abdominal obesity; children and adolescents; waist circumference; waist-to-height ratio
25.  Anthropometric indices as predictors of hypertension among men and women aged 40–69 years in the Korean population: the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study 
BMC Public Health  2015;15:140.
Obesity is one of the most significant risk factors for hypertension. However, there is controversy regarding which measure is the best predictor of hypertension risk. We compared body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in subjects as predictive indicators for development of hypertension.
The data were obtained from the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES), a large population-based prospective cohort study. A total of 4,454 subjects (2,128 men and 2,326 women) aged 40–69 years who did not have hypertension at baseline were included in this study. Incident hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, or anti-hypertensive medication use during the 4-year follow up. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to compare discrimination abilities for anthropometric indices for hypertension. Hazard ratios were calculated by Cox proportional hazard model with adjustment for age, smoking status, alcohol consumption, diabetes and family history of hypertension by sexes.
In men, the area under the ROC curve (AROC) was 0.62 for WC, WHR, and WHtR and 0.58 for BMI. In women, the AROCs for BMI, WC, WHR, and WHtR were 0.57, 0.66, 0.68, and 0.68, respectively. After adjustment for risk factors, a 1 standard deviation increase in BMI, WC, WHR, WHtR were significantly related to incident hypertension, respectively (hazard ratio: 1.39, 1.50, 1.40 and 1.49 in men, 1.31, 1.44, 1.35 and 1.48 in women).
The central obesity indices WC, WHR, and WHtR were better than BMI for the prediction of hypertension in middle-aged Korean people. WHtR facilitates prediction of incident hypertension because of the single standard regardless of sex, ethnicity, and age group. Therefore, WHtR is recommended as a screening tool for the prediction of hypertension.
PMCID: PMC4332746
Obesity; Hypertension; Risk factors; Anthropometric indices

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