Objectives To determine which anthropometric measurement correlates best with the metabolic abnormalities associated with the metabolic syndrome in adolescents and young adults.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting Schools, high schools and universities.
Participants 1359 adolescents and young adults aged 14–25 years.
Main outcome measures Anthropometric predictors of metabolic abnormalities as classified by International Diabetes Federation definition.
Results The waist circumference (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.43: p≤0.01) and the abdominal skin fold thickness (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.04, p≤0.01) above the third quintile cut-offs were found to be significantly associated with metabolic abnormalities. The sensitivity of either one of these measurements in predicting metabolic abnormalities was 66.1% with a negative predictive value of 82.8%. Hyperglycaemia was significantly associated with an abdominal skin fold thickness over the fourth quintile alone (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.1). All the anthropometric measurements correlated well with elevated triglycerides and hypertension.
Conclusions In a large community-based cross-sectional survey of subjects aged 14–25 years, the waist circumference and the abdominal skin fold thickness are important predictors of the metabolic abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome. This simple clinical tool may help in a primary care setting to identify subjects who require a further biochemical evaluation and would considerably reduce the cost of unwarranted testing.
- Metabolic syndrome
- skin fold thickness
- waist circumference
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Funding This study was partially funded by grants from Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals R & D.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Institituional Review Board and Ethics Committee of Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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