Objective: To comparatively evaluate cut-off points of waist circumference, body mass index and waist to hip ratio with respect to their ability to predict other individual and multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Design: Population-based, cross-sectional surveys.
Subjects: A total of 9913 men and women aged 18-74, selected using health insurance registries from five Canadian provinces.
Measurements: Anthropometric measures, other cardiovascular risk factors, receiver operating characteristic curves, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values.
Results: : Waist circumference may be the best single indicator of other individual and multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Optimal cut-off points of all anthropometric measures are dependent on age, sex and the prevalence of the risk factor(s) being considered. For waist circumference, cut-off points of > or =90 cm in men and > or =80 cm in women may be most appropriate for prediction of individual and multiple risk factors in Caucasian populations.
Conclusion: Health professionals should incorporate the use of waist circumference measurements in their routine clinical examination of adult patients.