Waist circumference shows the highest predictive value for metabolic syndrome, and waist-to-hip ratio for its components, in Spanish adolescents

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Abstract

Both waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) have been proposed as predictors of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in adolescents, but no consensus has been reached to date. This study hypothesizes that WC provides a greater predictive value for MetS in Spanish adolescents than WHR. A cross-sectional study was performed on 1001 adolescents (13.2 ± 1.2 years) randomly recruited from schools in southeast Spain. Anthropometric measures were correlated with the components of MetS (triglycerides, glucose, blood pressure, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) as well as inflammation markers (interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor–alpha, C-reactive protein, and ceruloplasmin). Receiver-operator curves were created to determine the predictive value of these variables for MetS. Boys had higher values of all anthropometric parameters compared with girls, but the prevalence of MetS was significantly higher in girls. WHR was the only parameter that correlated significantly with all biochemical and inflammatory variables in boys. In girls, WHR, body mass index, waist-to-height ratio, WC, and body fat percentage correlated only with plasma insulin levels, systolic and diastolic pressures, and ceruloplasmin. In both groups, all anthropometric measures were able to predict MetS (area under the curve > 0.94). In particular, WC was able to predict MetS with area under the curve = 1.00. However, WHR was able to predict a higher number of components of MetS. WHR was the anthropometric index that showed the highest predictive value for MetS components, whereas WC was the one that best predicted the MetS among the population of adolescents studied. These findings justify the need to incorporate WHR and WC determinations into daily clinical practice to predict the MetS.

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Perona, J. S., Schmidt-RioValle, J., Rueda-Medina, B., Correa-Rodríguez, M., & González-Jiménez, E. (2017). Waist circumference shows the highest predictive value for metabolic syndrome, and waist-to-hip ratio for its components, in Spanish adolescents. Nutrition Research, 45, 38–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2017.06.007

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