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J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 Nov;14(9):782-5.

Waist-to-height ratio, an optimal predictor for obesity and metabolic syndrome in Chinese adults.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, Xuzhou Medical College, China.



Anthropometric indices to obesity were evaluated as predictors of metabolic syndrome risk factors. Our purpose was to explore an optimal or more reliable anthropometric indicator and optimal cut-off points for obesity on metabolic syndrome in Chinese adults.


The survey was conducted involving 2947 participants, aged 20 or above with cross-sectional study of population. The predictive validity and optimal cut-off values were analyzed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, area under curve (AUC) and the largest Youden's index (sensitivity + specificity - 1) by gender group, respectively. Kappa value showed diagnostic consistency.


According to the criteria of CDS 2004, IDF 2005 and AHA/NHLBI 2005, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 10.32%, 9.64% and 16.12% respectively, which indicated that the prevalence was higher in men than in women and increased with age (P < 0.05). The BMI, WC, WHR and WHtR in metabolic syndrome patients were greater than those in healthy volunteers and the indices in men were higher than those in women. With adjusted age and gender, the partial correlation coefficient for BMI-WC, BMI-WHR and BMI-WHtR was 0.7991, 0.5278 and 0.8196, respectively (P < 0.05). The area under curves (AUCs) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves for WHtR was larger (P < 0.05) than that for WC and WHR. The cut-point of WHtR was approximately 0.5 in both genders with a satisfactory balance between sensitivity and specificity, where the Kappa (k) value for WHtR-BMI was higher than that for WHtR-WHR, and WHtR-WC.


The results indicated that WHtR might be an optimal anthropometric predictor of metabolic syndrome risk factors and the cut-point of WHtR was approximately 0.50 in both genders of Chinese adults.

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