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Ceylon Med J. 2008 Dec;53(4):128-32.

Prediction of total and visceral fat contents using anthropometric measures of adiposity in women.

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Centre for Lipid Disorders, Faculty of Medicine, Galle, Sri Lanka.



Although techniques such as dual energy xray absorptiometry (DXA) and quantitative CT are available to estimate global and regional adiposity, anthropometric measurements are often used to detect adiposity in clinical practice.


To assess the association between the anthropometric measurements of obesity with total and regional fat mass determined by DXA.


A cross-sectional, descriptive study. Patients and method 106 healthy women volunteers, aged between 30 and 54 years were studied. Anthropometric measurements including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), height adjusted WC (WC/HT), waist-hip ratio (WHR), and skin-fold thickness (SFT) over triceps, infrascapular, and iliac regions were made. All women underwent assessment of total fat mass (TFM) and visceral fat mass (VFM) using a Hologic DXA scan.


TFM and VFM showed positive correlations with all the anthropometric measurements examined, the strongest correlation was with BMI (r = 0.89 and 0.77 for TFM and VFM respectively, p < 0.001). Correlations of TFM with WC, HC, and WC/HT were 0.72, 0.87, and 0.65, (p < 0001 for all) respectively. Corresponding figures for VFM were 0.73, 0.74, and 0.68, (p < 0001 for all). WHR showed a poor correlation with TFM (r = 18, p = 0.09) and VFM (r = 0.33, p = 0.002). SFTs measured at three sites showed less strong correlations with TFM and VFM (r = 0.48 to 0.69, p < 0.001).


BMI has the strongest association with total and visceral fat mass among these women. Waist and hip circumferences showed high correlations with total and visceral fat mass, but adjusting waist circumference for height did not improve the correlation.

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