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Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2018 Mar 20;10:21. doi: 10.1186/s13098-018-0323-8. eCollection 2018.

Relationship between "a body shape index (ABSI)" and body composition in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

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1Segovia General Hospital, C/Miguel Servet s/n, 40002 Segovia, Spain.
2Department of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York, New York, NY USA.
Metro Detroit Diabetes and Endocrinology, Southfield, MI USA.



Obesity is known to be related to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). The most commonly used anthropometric indicator (body mass index [BMI]) presents several limitations such as the lack of possibility to distinguish adipose tissue distribution. Thus, this study examines the suitability of a body shape index (ABSI) for prediction of body composition and sarcopenic obesity in obese or overweight T2D subjects.


Cross-sectional study in 199 overweight/obese T2D adults. Anthropometric (BMI, ABSI) and body composition (fat mass [FM], fat-free mass [FFM], fat mass index [FMI] and fat-free mass index, and the ratio FM/FFM as an index of sarcopenic obesity) data was collected, as well as metabolic parameters (glycated haemoglobin [HbA1c], mean blood glucose, fasting plasma glucose [FPG], high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL], low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides [TG] levels; the ratio TG/HDL was also calculated as a surrogate marker for insulin resistance).


ABSI was significantly associated with age and waist circumference. It showed a statistically significant correlation with BMI exclusively in women. Regarding body composition, in men, ABSI was associated with FM (%), while in women it was associated with both FM and FFM. Both males and females groups with high ABSI scores were significantly older (men: 59.3 ± 10.8 vs 54.6 ± 10.1, p ≤ 0.05; women: 65.1 ± 9.8 vs 58.1 ± 13.3, p ≤ 0.005) and showed lower FFM values (men: 62.3 ± 9.0 vs 66.2 ± 9.3, p ≤ 0.05; women: 48.7 ± 5.6 vs 54.5 ± 8.9, p ≤ 0.001) compared with low-ABSI groups. Multiple linear regression revealed that ABSI independently predict FMI and the FM/FFM ratio in women. Sarcopenic obesity was identified in 70 (36.5%) individuals according to the FM/FFM ratio. The AUROC of ABSI was 63.1% (95% CI 54.6-71.6%; p = 0.003) and an ABSI value of 0.083 m11/6 kg-2/3 was the optimal threshold in discriminating patients with sarcopenic obesity (sensitivity: 48%, specificity: 73%). Moreover, a significant association between ABSI and FPG was found in men.


ABSI could be useful to identify visceral and sarcopenic obesity in overweight/obese adults with T2D, adding some relevant clinical information to traditional anthropometric measures.


A body shape index; Body composition; Obesity; Sarcopenic obesity; Type 2 diabetes

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