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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17(2):229-34.

How useful is waist circumference for assessment of abdominal obesity in Korean pre-menopausal women during weight loss?

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  • 1Department of Oriental Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Oriental Medicine, KyungHee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-701, Korea.


Asian women are known to have a larger amount of abdominal fat (AF) for the same level of BMI compared with Caucasian and African-American women. This study was aimed to determine whether waist circumference (WC) could be useful as an index of AF compared with AF measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) before and after a weight-loss program in Asian women. Thirty-eight healthy, pre-menopausal obese Korean women (body fat percent>30%) were enrolled and followed during a 6-week weight-loss program including herbal formula, calorie restriction, and exercise. Anthropometry and DXA measurements were performed before and after weight-loss. A specific region of interest (ROI, L2-iliac crest) by DXA was correlated with anthropometry at baseline: WC (gamma=0.91)>BMI (gamma=0.87)>Waist-Height ratio (WHtR, gamma=0.82)>WHR (gamma=0.46); and after weight loss: BMI (gamma=0.88)>WC (gamma=0.84)>WHtR (gamma=0.82), all p<0.01. The change in DXA ROI showed a reasonable correlation with change in anthropometry: BMI (gamma=0.63, p<0.01)>WC (gamma=0.39, p<0.05)>WHtR (gamma=0.37, p<0.05). A stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that 83% of the variance in DXA derived AF was explained by WC at baseline, WC and BMI at follow-up, respectively. This study suggests that WC could be a good predictor of AF for Korean pre-menopausal women.

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