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Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Aug-Sep;23(4):397-404. doi: 10.1177/0884533608321700.

Waist circumference measurement in clinical practice.

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Endocrine Unit, Meir Hospital, Kfar Saba, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


The obesity epidemic is a major public health problem worldwide. Adult obesity is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Measurement of abdominal obesity is strongly associated with increased cardiometabolic risk, cardiovascular events, and mortality. Although waist circumference is a crude measurement, it correlates with obesity and visceral fat amount, and is a surrogate marker for insulin resistance. A normal waist circumference differs for specific ethnic groups due to different cardiometabolic risk. For example, Asians have increased cardiometabolic risk at lower body mass indexes and with lower waist circumferences than other populations. One criterion for the diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome, according to different study groups, includes measurement of abdominal obesity (waist circumference or waist-to-hip ratio) because visceral adipose tissue is a key component of the syndrome. The waist circumference measurement is a simple tool that should be widely implemented in clinical practice to improve cardiometabolic risk stratification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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