Waist-to-height ratio is an appropriate index for identifying cardiometabolic risk in Chinese individuals with normal body mass index and waist circumference

Qihan Zhu, Feixia Shen, Tingting Ye, Qi Zhou, Huihui Deng, Xuejiang Gu
Journal of Diabetes 2014, 6 (6): 527-34

BACKGROUND: The waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), a novel index that has been reported to correlate more strongly than body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) with cardiometabolic risk factors, has not been studied in Chinese individuals with normal body mass index and waist circumference. The present study compared the predictive power of WHtR with those of BMI and WC for such factors in non-obese Chinese, and to define optimal cutoffs of WHtR in this population.

METHODS: A total of 2137 subjects aged 40-75 years were recruited. Three anthropometric indices (WHtR, BMI, and WC) were compared and the optimal cutoffs of WHtR were identified by receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis. WHtR was divided into four quartiles (WHtR-Q), and multiple linear regression analyses were used to calculate the relationship between WHtR-Q and clinical biochemical index.

RESULTS: Waist-to-height ratio was more efficient than WC to identify cardiometabolic risk factors in both genders, but was only superior to BMI in females. WHtR-Q was positively correlated with fasting plasma glucose, 2-h postprandial blood glucose, and systolic blood pressure, and negatively connected with high density lipoprotein cholesterol in both genders after controlling for age, current smoking and drinking, moderate-intensity physical activity, daily sedentary time, daily screen time and menopause (only for females). The optimal cutoffs of WHtR for detecting cardiometabolic risk factors were 0.47 in males and 0.51 in females.

CONCLUSION: Waist-to-height ratio might be an effective index to identify cardiometabolic risk factors in Chinese with normal BMI and WC, particularly in females.

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