Value of waist circumference in metabolic diseases

V. Saroja Voruganti, Anthony G. Comuzzie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Obesity is a global health problem affecting adults, adolescents, and children alike. It has reached epidemic proportions in the United States with approximately 34% of adults classified as clinically obese and additional 34% overweight. Abdominal obesity, characterized by excess visceral fat, is associated with an increased risk for several metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Imaging modalities are the best measures for abdominal obesity, but are not always feasible in clinical settings. Waist circumference is an anthropometric measurement that is easy, cost effective, informative, and well suited for assessment in nearly all clinical settings. It is strongly correlated with, and used as a surrogate marker for, abdominal fat mass and has been associated with all-cause mortality. Increased waist circumference is closely associated with alterations in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as inflammation and atherosclerosis. Other metabolic diseases such as asthma, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer have also been associated with an increase in waist circumference. In addition, a larger waistline is generally associated with an overall decrease in cardio-respiratory and general physical fitness and health-related quality of life. In conclusion, waist circumference is an easily obtainable measure that can be used to quickly assess an individual's susceptibility to cardiometabolic disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Anthropometry
Subtitle of host publicationPhysical Measures of Human Form in Health and Disease
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781441917881
ISBN (Print)9781441917874
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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