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Associations Between Anthropometric Measurements and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in White European and South Asian Adults in the United Kingdom



      To investigate the association of 4 anthropometric measurements with cardiometabolic risk factors in a UK biethnic sample of South Asians (SAs) and white Europeans (WEs).

      Patients and Methods

      Baseline data were collected from adults of WE and SA origin participating in the Leicester arm of the Anglo-Danish-Dutch Study of Intensive Treatment in People with Screen Detected Diabetes in Primary Care (ADDITION-Leicester) study between August 2004 and December 2007. Overall, 6268 WE and SA adults had measures of body mass index, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, and waist-to-height ratio assessed between June 18, 2004, and December 4, 2007. Hypertension, dyslipidemia, and dysglycemia were established from venous blood samples using standard definitions. Crude and adjusted (covariates used were age, sex, ethnicity, smoking, and alcohol consumption) odds ratios were calculated using multivariate logistic regression. Receiver operating characteristic curves and the area under the curve were used to calculate optimal cut points for the whole cohort and for both ethnic groups.


      Increases in all anthropometric measurements resulted in a higher odds ratio for each of the risk factors in both the crude and adjusted models (P<.001). The adjusted odds ratios for dyslipidemia, hypertension, and dysglygemia ranged from 1.30 to 1.35, from 1.36 to 1.52, and from 1.62 to 1.75 (P<.001 for all), respectively, in WEs. The adjusted odds ratio for dyslipidemia, hypertension, and dysglygemia ranged from 1.50 to 1.65 (P<.01), from 1.40 to 1.60 (P<.01), and from 1.96 to 2.11 (P<.001 for all), respectively, in SAs. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for all the anthropometric measurements had low accuracy (P<.70) for the whole cohort and when stratified by ethnicity and sex.


      There is insufficient evidence to recommend replacing body mass index with another anthropometric measurement for the ethnically diverse population in the United Kingdom.

      Trial Registration

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      AUC (area under the curve), BMI (body mass index), SA (South Asian), WC (waist circumference), WE (white European), WHR (waist-to-hip ratio), WHtR (waist-to-height ratio)
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