JOURNAL ARTICLE

Is waist circumference a better predictor of diabetes than body mass index or waist-to-height ratio in Iranian adults?

Karimollah Hajian-Tilaki, Bezad Heidari
International Journal of Preventive Medicine 2015, 6: 5
25789140

BACKGROUND: Several measures of adiposity have been used for predicting diabetes. The results of studies regarding superiority of waist circumference (WC) to body mass index (BMI) are inconsistent. This study designed to compare the ability of different anthropometric measures in predicting diabetes and to determine their optimal cut-off values.

METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with 1,000 representative sample among adults aged 20-80 years in Babol, the Northern Iran. The demographic data were collected in a household survey, and the anthropometric measures of weight, height, waist, and hip circumference were measured with a standard method. Fasting blood sugar (FBS) ≥126 mg/dl was considered as diabetes. receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to estimate the predictive ability of different anthropometric indexes and their optimal cut-off values for high FBS.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence rate of diabetes was 14.0% (14.4% in men vs. 13.5% in women, P = 0.65). The prevalence rate was significantly higher in older age (>60 years), low educated and obese (P = 0.001). The mean of BMI, WC, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were significantly higher among diabetic in both sexes (P = 0.001). Among men, WC (area under the ROC curve [AUC] =0.64) and WHtR (AUC = 0.63) have slightly higher accuracy index compared with BMI (AUC = 0.62) or WHR (AUC = 0.60). In contrast, among women, WHtR (AUC = 0.69) and WC (AUC = 0.68) yielded slightly better predictive than BMI (AUC = 0.67). The optimal cut-off values obtained for BMI and WHtR were similar between two sexes (BMI = 24.95 kg/m(2) for men and BMI = 25.2 kg/m(2) for women, WHtR = 0.51 for both sexes) whereas the optimal cut-off value for WC was higher in men than women (98.5 cm men vs. 89.5 cm women).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall WC and WHtR exhibited a slightly better discriminate performance than BMI for diabetes in both sexes, particularly in women.

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