Reappraisal of waist circumference cutoff value according to general obesity

Kyung Soo Kim, Hyun Ju Oh, Young Ju Choi, Byung Wook Huh, Soo Kyung Kim, Seok Won Park, Eun Jig Lee, Yong Wook Cho, Kap Bum Huh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Current criterion of waist circumference (WC) for abdominal obesity is not enough to demonstrate characteristics of obese and non-obese populations defined by BMI. The aim of this study was to redefine the cutoff values of WC according to general obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2). Methods: The receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to determine cutoff values of WC for predicting atherosclerosis according to BMI in 1,063 non-diabetic subjects. To validate this new criterion, diabetic patients (n = 3,690) were divided into three groups based on the current (WC of 90/80 cm for men/women) and new cutoff values of WC: 1) group with WC below the lowest value of two criteria; 2) intermediate group defined as having a WC between them; and 3) group with WC more than the highest value of them. Results: The new cutoff values of WC for predicting atherosclerosis in non-diabetic subjects were 84/76 cm for non-obese men/women, and 93/87 cm for obese men/women, respectively. Of non-obese diabetic patients, the intermediate group (WC 84 ~ 90/76 ~ 80 cm for men/women) was more insulin resistant and showed elevated odds ratio (OR) for having 2 or more metabolic risk factors compared to group with WC below 84/76 cm for men/ women [OR 2.48 (95 % CI 1.89-3.25) in men, 2.01 (95% CI 1.45-2.78) in women]. In contrast, among obese diabetic patients, insulin resistance and the likelihood of having 2 or more metabolic risk factors were not different from the intermediate group (WC 90 ~ 93/80 ~ 87 cm for men/women) and group with WC below 90/80 cm for men/ women. Conclusions: The current universal cutoff values of WC may under- or over-estimate the metabolic risks of intermediate groups. Therefore, the WC criteria for abdominal obesity should be applied differently depending on the BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalNutrition and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Kim et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Reappraisal of waist circumference cutoff value according to general obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this