Waist Circumference Independently Associates with the Risk of Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes in Mexican American Families

Manju Mamtani, Hemant Kulkarni, Thomas D. Dyer, Laura Almasy, Michael C. Mahaney, Ravindranath Duggirala, Anthony G. Comuzzie, John Blangero, Joanne E. Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: In spite of the growing recognition of the specific association of waist circumference (WC) with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and insulin resistance (IR), current guidelines still use body mass index (BMI) as a tool of choice. Our objective was to determine whether WC is a better T2D predictor than BMI in family-based settings. Research Design and Methods: Using prospectively collected data on 808 individuals from 42 extended Mexican American families representing 7617.92 person-years follow-up, we examined the performance of WC and BMI as predictors of cumulative and incident risk of T2D. We used robust statistical methods that accounted for the kinships and included polygenic models, discrete trait modeling, Akaike information criterion, odds ratio (OR), relative risk (RR) and Kullback-Leibler R2. SOLAR software was used to conduct all the data analyses. Results: We found that in multivariate polygenic models, WC was an independent predictor of cumulative (OR = 2.76, p = 0.0002) and future risk of T2D (RR = 2.15, p = 3.56×10-9) and outperformed BMI when compared in a head-to-head fashion. High WC (≥94.65 cm after adjusting for age and sex) was also associated with high fasting glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels and low high-density lipoprotein levels indicating a potential association with IR. Moreover, WC was specifically and significantly associated with insulin resistant T2D (OR = 4.83, p = 1.01×10-13). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the value of using WC as a screening tool of choice for future risk of T2D in Mexican American families. Also, WC is specifically associated with insulin resistant T2D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere59153
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 11 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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