What comorbidities of obesity are associated with waist circumference?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

The thresholds used in the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III definition of metabolic syndrome [20] state that significantly increased cardiovascular risk (metabolic central obesity) exists in men with waist circumferences of greater than 94 cm (37 in) and in women with waist circumferences of greater than 80 cm (31.5 in), as well as waist-to-hip ratios of greater than 0.95 in men and of greater than 0.8 in women. Circumferences of 102 cm (40 in) in men and 88 cm (35 in) in women indicate a markedly increased risk requiring urgent therapeutic intervention.

These thresholds are much lower in Asian populations. After analyzing survey results of Chinese, Malay, and Asian-Indian cohorts, Tan and colleagues concluded that a waist circumference of greater than 90 cm in men and of more than 80 cm in women were more appropriate criteria for metabolic central obesity in these ethnic groups. [21]


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