An Average Body Circumference Can Be a Substitute for Body Mass Index in Women

Adv Med. 2014:2014:592642. doi: 10.1155/2014/592642. Epub 2014 Nov 19.


Introduction. Significant correlations between BMI and some body circumferences have been previously reported. In this study we investigated if the average of the sum of eight body circumferences can be a substitute for BMI. Patients and Methods. BMI and eight body circumferences (neck, waist, hip, arm, forearm, wrist, thigh, and ankle) were measured in 193 apparently healthy women aged 20-83, and within a wide range of BMI. Women with BMI ≤ 24.9 were designated as normal, with BMI 25-29.9 as overweight and with BMI ≥ 30 as obese. The relationship of the average body circumference (ABC) of the sum of the eight circumferences, and of each individual circumference with BMI, was evaluated. Results. ABC had the strongest correlation with BMI (r = 0.95, P < 0.001) among all the circumferences tested. Hip circumference had the strongest correlation with BMI (r = 0.89, P < 0.001) among the circumferences of individual body sites. Receiver-Operator Characteristic analysis showed that women with ABC > 44.0 cm could be recognized as having BMI ≥ 25 with sensitivity 90.2% and specificity 88.5%, while women with ABC > 47.1 cm could be diagnosed as having BMI ≥ 30 with sensitivity 92.2% and specificity 91.5%. Conclusion. An average body circumference strongly correlated with BMI in women and can serve as a surrogate of BMI.