Optimal cutoff values for anthropometric indices of obesity as discriminators of metabolic abnormalities in Korea: results from a Health Examinees study

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Cho, Sooyoung; Shin, Aesun; Choi, Ji-Yeob; Park, Sang Min.; Kang, Daehee; Lee, Jong-Koo
Issue Date
BMC Public Health. 2021 Mar 06;21(1):459
ObesityhypertensionHyperglycemiaDyslipidemiaSensitivity and specificityArea under the curve
Obesity is well known as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We aimed to determine the performance of and the optimal cutoff values for obesity indices to discriminate the presence of metabolic abnormalities as a primary risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in a Health Examinees study (HEXA).

The current study analyzed 134,195 participants with complete anthropometric and laboratory information in a Health Examinees study, consisting of the Korean population aged 40 to 69 years. The presence of metabolic abnormality was defined as having at least one of the following: hypertension, hyperglycemia, or dyslipidemia. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for body mass index, waist to hip ratio, waist to height ratio, waist circumference, and conicity index.

The AUC of metabolic abnormalities was the highest for waist-to-height ratio (AUC [95% CIs], 0.677 [0.672–0.683] among men; 0.691 [0.687–0.694] among women), and the lowest for the C index (0.616 [0.611–0.622] among men; 0.645 [0.641–0.649] among women) among both men and women. The optimal cutoff values were 24.3 kg/m2 for the body mass index, 0.887 for the waist-to-hip ratio, 0.499 for the waist-to-height ratio, 84.4 cm for waist circumference and 1.20 m3/2/kg1/2 for the conicity index among men, and 23.4 kg/m2 for the body mass index, 0.832 for the waist-to-hip ratio, 0.496 for the waist-to-height ratio, 77.0 cm for the waist circumference and 1.18 m3/2/kg1/2 for the conicity index among women.

The waist-to-height ratio is the best index to discriminate metabolic abnormalities among middle-aged Koreans. The optimal cutoff of obesity indices is lower than the international guidelines for obesity. It would be appropriate to use the indices for abdominal obesity rather than general obesity and to consider a lower level of body mass index and waist circumference than the current guidelines to determine obesity-related health problems in Koreans.
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Preventive Medicine (예방의학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_예방의학전공)
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