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Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2007 Mar 28;6:10.

Sagittal abdominal diameter as a marker of inflammation and insulin resistance among immigrant women from the Middle East and native Swedish women: a cross-sectional study.

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  • 1Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.



Immigrant women from the Middle East have elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), a simple marker of intra-abdominal fat, predicts insulin resistance and cardiovascular mortality in men. Its usefulness in immigrant women is however unknown. To investigate the predictive role of SAD compared to other anthropometric measures, we examined a random sample of native-Swedes and immigrant women from the Middle East living in Sweden.


157 women participated in the study; 107 immigrants and 50 natives. Anthropometric measurements (SAD, body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC] and waist-to-hip ratio [WHR]; all measured in supine position) and cardiovascular risk factors (C-reactive protein [CRP], insulin, glucose, insulin resistance [HOMA-IR], blood pressure and serum lipids) were assessed. The anthropometric measures were compared in their relation to cardiovascular risk factors using linear regression analyses.


Overall, SAD showed a slightly higher correlation with most cardiovascular risk factors, especially insulin resistance, insulin, CRP, apolipoprotein B and triglycerides (all P-values < 0.01) than other anthropometric measures. BMI was however a better predictor of HDL cholesterol. SAD explained a greater proportion of the variation of insulin resistance and CRP levels, even independently of the other anthropometric measures.


SAD identifies insulin resistance, subclinical inflammation or raised serum lipids in a Swedish population with a large proportion of immigrant women from the Middle East. If these results could be confirmed in a larger population, SAD could be a more clinically useful risk marker than other anthropometric measures in women at high risk of cardiovascular disease.

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