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Nutr Res. 2011 Mar;31(3):197-204. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.02.004.

Waist circumference is positively correlated with markers of inflammation and negatively with adiponectin in women with metabolic syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The purpose of this study was to correlate biomarkers of metabolic syndrome (MetS), with markers of inflammation and macronutrient intake in 89 women (25-72 years) with MetS. We hypothesized that waist circumference (WC) would have the stronger correlations with inflammatory parameters and would correlate with carbohydrate intake. Values for WC (108.7 ± 11.1 cm) and plasma triglycerides (202.7 ± 52.1 mg/dL) were elevated, whereas plasma glucose levels varied from 66 to 179 mg/dL, with 42% of women having insulin resistance. Plasma levels of interleukin 6 (0.2-15.9 mg/L), tumor necrosis factor α (1.47-12.3 mg/L), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (0.06-3.08 mg/dL) varied widely, with most women being above values considered normal. Subjects had high intake of total sugar (92.3 ± 56.4 g/d), high glycemic index (59.8 ± 6.5), and glycemic load (127.2 ± 56.1), whereas dietary fiber (17.1 ± 9.1 g/d) was below recommended intake. Waist circumference was positively correlated with insulin (r = 0.275, P < .01) and with the inflammatory markers interleukin 6 (r = 0.307, P < .01) and tumor necrosis factor α (r = 0.228, P < .05) and negatively correlated with plasma adiponectin (r = -0.309, P < .0001). In addition, WC was positively correlated with total carbohydrate, added sugar, and glycemic load (P < .05) but not with fat or protein. These results are consistent with central obesity being a key marker of the inflammatory state, and they also suggest that carbohydrates, particularly those that are digested rapidly, contribute to increased risk of central obesity and development of MetS.


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