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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MARTINS, Ignez Salas  and  MARINHO, Sheila Pita. The potential of central obesity antropometric indicators as diagnostic tools. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.6, pp.760-767. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: It has been suggested that the indicators of centralized obesity, namely by waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR) and waistline measure (WM), express different metabolic disorders. Thus, a study was conducted in order to verify the diagnostic potential of the relationship between these two measures and social, behavioral, and biological determinants of centralized obesity. METHODS: Two hierarchical multiple regression models were applied to a 1,042 subject sample from the city of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, in order to evaluate relationships between indicators and determinants for centralized obesity. Clinical, biochemical/laboratory, and behavioral surveys were carried out using standardized questionnaires. Evaluation included blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, and waistline and hip measures. RESULTS: WHR was significantly associated with low stature and strongly related to socioeconomic level; this was not the case with WM. Both WHR and WM were strongly associated with age, sex, and sedentary lifestyle. Women were at greater risk of centralized obesity then men: OR=5.04 and 7.27 for WHR and WM, respectively. WHR was significantly associated with alterations indicative of metabolic syndrome: hypertension and low levels of HDL-cholesterol. WM was significantly associated with hypertension alone. Both indicators were strongly associated with the concomitant presence of two or more alterations related to metabolic syndrome. Unlike WHR, WC was associated with hypercholesterolemia. CONCLUSIONS: WHR was more closely associated with socioeconomic factors, former risk of malnutrition, and alterations indicative of metabolic syndrome than WM, which was more closely associated with risk factors for cardiovascular and arteriosclerotic diseases.

Keywords : Obesity; Anthropometry; Body weights and measures; Socioeconomic factors; Risk factors.

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