Anthropometric indices as screening tools for cardiovascular risk factors in Singaporean women

Yong-Hao Pua, Peck-Hoon Ong
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005, 14 (1): 74-9
Previous studies have suggested the need to revise the World Health Organization (WHO) cut-off values for the various indices of obesity and fat distribution in Singapore. The purpose of this study was to delineate cut-off points of body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio (WHR), waist circumference (WC), and waist-stature ratio (WSR) as screening tools for cardiovascular risk factors in Singaporean women. Anthropometric indices were measured in a cross sectional survey of 566 subjects (60% Chinese individuals, 28% Malay individuals and 12% Indian individuals). Cardiovascular risk factors were determined by measuring blood pressure, serum lipids, and fasting blood glucose levels. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to determine cut-off points. Forward logistic regression and area under curves (AUC) were used to determine the best anthropometric index. For at least one cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus), the cut-off points for BMI, WHR, WC and WSR were around 23.6 kg/m(2), 0.80, 77.8 cm and 0.48 for Singaporean females. The AUC of WSR was the highest for all three risk factors in females (0.79 for hypertension, 0.70 for dyslipidaemia, 0.88 for diabetes mellitus). Regression analyses revealed that WSR was independently associated with all risk factors. For Singaporean female adults, the cut-off points were lower than the criteria suggested by the WHO, but were in agreement with those reported for Asians. BMI, WHR, WC and WSR may be used as screening tools for cardiovascular risk factors, of which WSR may be the best anthropometric index.

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