WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Waist circumference measured midway (WC-mid) between the lowest ribs and the iliac crest better defines risks associated with central obesity than does waist circumference measured at the iliac crest (WC-IC), according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Diabetes Care.
Wen-Ya Ma, M.D., from Cardinal Tien Hospital in Xindian, Taiwan, and colleagues followed a cohort of 1,898 diabetes-free subjects for a median of 31 months in the Taiwan Lifestyle Study who underwent WC measurements. Computed tomography was used to assess abdominal subcutaneous fat area (SFA) and visceral fat area (VFA).
The researchers found that, in women, the difference between WC-IC and WC-mid measurements was significantly greater than in men. WC-IC and WC-mid were both significantly associated with body mass index, VFA, and SFA. Particularly in women, WC-mid correlated better than WC-IC with VFA, while WC-mid correlated significantly more strongly with blood pressure, plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c, triglyceride levels, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and C-reactive protein. There was a slightly better association for WC-mid than WC-IC with hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. WC-mid, but not WC-IC, predicted the incidence of diabetes development, with 90 cm (male)/80 cm (female) as criteria for central obesity (age adjusted P = 0.003).
"In conclusion, WC-mid proved in this study to be a better measurement to define central obesity than WC-IC in Asians, since WC-mid was more closely related to abdominal VFA and metabolic variables and had better results for identifying and predicting metabolic diseases," the authors write. "The impact of location of WC measurement is greater in women."