Migrant Asian Indians in New Zealand; prediction of metabolic syndrome using body weights and measures

Ljiljana M Jowitt, Louise Weiwei Lu, Elaine C Rush
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2014, 23 (3): 385-93
The aim of this study of Asian Indian migrants in New Zealand was to determine cut-off points for body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio that best discriminate for increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. One hundred and seventy-five (90F, 85M) Asian Indian volunteers (aged >50 y) were recruited from urban Auckland, New Zealand. Body weight, height and waist and hip circumferences were measured using standard techniques. Waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio and body mass index were derived. Total and percent body fat by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and fasting glucose, insulin and lipids were measured. Three measures of metabolic risk were determined: the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, the McAuley score for insulin sensitivity and metabolic syndrome by International Diabetes Federation criteria. Body mass index, percent body fat and anthropometric measurements of central adiposity generally did not perform well as indicators of metabolic risk in this high risk population of Asian Indian migrants. Our data support the use of lower ethnic specific body mass index and waist circumference for Asian Indian women and men. The discriminatory power of waist-to-height ratio was similar to that of body mass index. Hence, waist-to-height ratio could be used as a simple screening tool. A recommendation, of a waist-to- height ratio of less than 0.5 that would underpin the simple public health message of "your waist circumference should be less than half your height".

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