Objective: This study compares the waist-height ratio (WHTR) with other anthropometric indicators of obesity: waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), conicity index (Index C), and body mass index (BMI)) to discriminate the level of coronary risk (HCR).
Method: A cross sectional study of a subgroup of participants in the project 'Monitoring of Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes in Brazil' (MONIT) was carried out in Salvador, Brazil (2000). The total sample comprised 968 persons (391 male and 577 female), 30 to 74 years of age. Initially the total area under the ROC curve between the Index C, WHR, WHTR, WC, BMI and HCR was identified while using a 95% confidence interval. Sensitivity and specificity were next calculated. Analyses were carried out using STATA 7.0 program.
Results: Areas under the ROC curves used as indicators of obesity were Index C 0.80, WHR 0.76, WHTR 0.76, WC 0.73, and BMI 0.64 for men and Index C 0.75, WHR 0.75, WHTR 0.69, WC 0.66 and BMI 0.59 for women.
Conclusion: Indicators of abdominal obesity are better for discriminating HCR than the usual obesity indicator (BMI). Values of WHTR are closer to those found in other studies. Further, WHTR is a measurement with statistical significance whose use is justified.