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Korean J Fam Med. 2018 Jul;39(4):239-246. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.17.0099. Epub 2018 Jul 4.

Cut-Off Values for Visceral Fat Area Identifying Korean Adults at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome.

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Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Seoul National University Health Service Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Public Health Science, Seoul National University Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul, Korea.



Cut-off values for visceral fat area (VFA) measured by computed tomography (CT) for identifying individuals at risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) have not been clearly established in Korean adults, particularly for large populations. We aimed to identify optimal VFA and waist circumference (WC) cut-off values and compare the ability of VFA and WC to predict the presence of ≥2 metabolic risk factors.


We included 36,783 subjects aged 19-79 years undergoing abdominal fat CT during regular health checkups between January 2007 and February 2015 in Seoul. The risk factors for MetS except WC were based on the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to determine the appropriate VFA and WC cut-off values for MetS.


VFA was a more significant predictor of metabolic risk factors than WC and body mass index (BMI). The optimal cut-off values for VFA and WC were 134.6 cm2 and 88 cm for men and 91.1 cm2 and 81 cm for women, respectively. We estimated age-specific cut-off values for VFA, WC, and BMI. VFA cut-off values increased with age, particularly among women.


This large population study proposed the cut-off values for VFA and WC for identifying subjects at risk of MetS among Korean adults. For more accurate diagnosis, different age-specific cut-off values for VFA and WC may be considered.


Abdominal Obesity; ROC Curve; Visceral Fat Area; Waist Circumference; Metabolic Syndrome

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