Metabolic syndrome in Japanese men and women with special reference to the anthropometric criteria for the assessment of obesity: Proposal to use the waist-to-height ratio

Shiun Dong Hsieh, Takashi Muto
Preventive Medicine 2006, 42 (2): 135-9

BACKGROUND: Obesity is one of the criteria for defining metabolic syndrome. However, overt obesity in Asians is relatively low despite high prevalence of metabolic risks.

METHODS: We investigated the effectiveness of various anthropometric indices {body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio (W/Ht)} for the evaluation of coronary risk factors (hypertension, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL cholesterol) and as one of the criteria for metabolic syndrome (clustering of three or more from one obesity and four coronary risk factors) in Japanese on 6141 men and 2137 women.

RESULTS: (1) The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for the different anthropometric indices to identify any one and two or more coronary risk factors were highest for W/Ht. (2) The sensitivities for the identification of any one and two or more coronary risk factors were greater for W/Ht > or =0.5 than BMI > or =25, > or =23, and indices of waist circumference (Adult Treatment Panel III and Japan Society for the Study of Obesity). (3) The prevalence of metabolic syndrome varied greatly by different anthropometric indices, and the percentages of obesity risk factors in metabolic syndrome were highest for W/Ht > or =0.5 in both genders (approximate 95%).

CONCLUSIONS: W/Ht >/=0.5 may be the most effective anthropometric index for screening Japanese people for metabolic syndrome.

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