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Various anthropometric indices can be used to estimate obesity, and it is important to determine which one is the best in predicting the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and to define the optimal cut-off point for the best index.
This cross-sectional study investigated a consecutive sample of 11,247 adults, who had lived in rural areas of China and were older than 35 years of age. Eight obesity indices, including the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), abdominal volume index (AVI), body adiposity index (BAI), body roundness index (BRI) and a body shape index (ABSI) were investigated. The risk of CHD was evaluated by the 10-year coronary event risk (Framingham risk score). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to evaluate the predictive ability of the obesity indices for CHD risk.
Of the whole population, 3636 (32.32%) participants had a risk score higher than 10%. Those who suffered medium or high CHD risk were more likely to have higher mean anthropometric indices, except for BMI in males. In the multivariate-adjusted logistic regression, all these anthropometric measurements were statistically associated with CHD risk in males. After adjusting for all the possible confounders, these anthropometric measurements, except for ABSI, remained as independent indicators of CHD risk in females. According to the ROC analyses, ABSI provided the largest area under the curve (AUC) value in males, and BMI showed the lowest AUC value, with AUC varying from 0.52 to 0.60. WHtR and BRI provided the largest AUC value in female, and similarly, BMI showed the lowest AUC value, with AUC varying from 0.59 to 0.70. The optimal cut-off values were as follows: WHtR (females: 0.54), BRI (females: 4.21), and ABSI (males: 0.078).
ABSI was the best anthropometric index for estimating CHD risk in males, and WHtR and BRI were the best indicators in females. Males should maintain an ABSI of less than 0.078, and females should maintain a WHtR of less than 0.54 or a BRI of less than 4.21.