Gender-associated differences in the prevalence of central obesity using waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio, and that of general obesity, in Slovak adults
Central European Journal of Public Health
Objectives: Central obesity represents an increased risk to develop cardiovascular diseases. Guidelines of international societies suggest estimating central obesity by measuring waist circumference (WC). Robust statistical data in literature provide evidence on the superiority of waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) over WC and body mass index (BMI) for detecting cardiometabolic risk in both genders. Based on measurements of weight, height and waist circumference we compared the prevalence of central
... valence of central obesity using both the above mentioned criteria in the apparently healthy Slovak adults, and compared the prevalence of central obesity to that of general obesity (BMI). Methods: Data collected from 5,184 individuals (45% males) aged ≥18 years in four cross-sectional studies carried out between the years 2009-2012 were subjected to secondary analysis. Results: Waist circumference underestimated central obesity in males and overestimated in females: 37.3% of males and 41.8% of females presented central obesity according to WC, 54.2% males and 34.9% females according to WHtR. 17.3% of males centrally obese according to WC present WHtR < 0.5; while 7.8% of females centrally obese according to their WHtR do not display increased WC. The frequency of central obesity increased with age. According to BMI, the prevalence of overweight was 39% in males and 22% in females; that of obesity was 17% and 15%, respectively. Conclusion: The prevalence of central obesity estimated using WC vs. WHtR differs significantly in Slovak adults. WHtR is considered superior for detection of the risk of future development of cardiovascular afflictions. Thus, further studies addressing the gender-associated discordance of central obesity measures are required to determine whether our results are consistent across geographical regions and ethnic groups.