Objective: It is important to determine what values of simple anthropometric measurements are associated with the presence of adverse cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes or hypertension to provide an indication for further detailed investigations. In this analysis, we aimed to assess which anthropometric cutoff values are best at predicting the likelihood of diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and albuminuria in Hong Kong Chinese.
Design and setting: The data were obtained from a previously reported prevalence survey for glucose intolerance in a representative Hong Kong Chinese working population.
Subjects: 1513 subjects (910 men and 603 women) with mean age+/-s.d. 37.5+/-9.2 y.
Measurements: We examined the likelihood ratios of having diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and albuminuria in subjects with various cutoff values of the four simple anthropometric indexes, namely, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, waist circumference and the ratio of waist-to-height.
Results: We developed a nomogram to show the predictive values of different indexes for the cardiovascular risk factors using likelihood ratio analysis. Using Caucasian mean levels of the simple anthropometric indexes to predict diabetes or hypertension in Hong Kong Chinese gave a high likelihood ratio of 2:3:5.
Conclusion: Higher levels of body mass index, waist-hip ratio, waist circumference and the ratio of waist-to-height are associated with risk of having diabetes mellitus or hypertension in Hong Kong Chinese as in Caucasians. However, the cutoff values of those anthropometric indexes to define obesity used in Caucasians may not be applicable to Chinese.