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22-06-2010 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Hypertriglyceridemic waist proposed for detecting cardiometabolic risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Spanish researchers suggest the hypertriglyceridemic (HTGW) waist may be an alternative to the metabolic syndrome for detecting cardiometabolic risk, after finding it prevalent in their country.

M Bernal-López (Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga) and colleagues made their proposal after studying a random sample of 2270 individuals in Spain, aged 18 to 80 years.

HTGW, defined as a waist circumference of at least 94 cm in men and 80 cm in women and fasting plasma triglycerides of at least 1.71 mol/l (150 mg/100 ml), was present in 14.5% of study participants.

It was significantly more common in men than women, at 18.2% versus 10.8%, respectively, and was associated with being older, having a low educational level and, in men, with a sedentary lifestyle.

HTGW prevalence was lower than that of the metabolic syndrome, which was 23.1% using criteria from the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATP) III and 27.2% based on criteria from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

Compared with individuals who did not have a HTGW, those who did had higher blood pressure and total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and uric acid levels, lower levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and a greater degree of obesity.

Individuals with HTGW also had a higher prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (20.0% vs 6.4%) and cardiovascular disease (CVD, 8.5% vs 3.4%) than others, but the significance of both associations disappeared after adjusting for age.

Furthermore, the presence of the metabolic syndrome using the NCEP-ATP III or IDF criteria had greater predictive capacity than the HTGW for Type 2 diabetes (odds ratio=11.58 and 12.98 vs 3.61, respectively) and CVD (odds ratio=5.64, 7.34, and 2.63).

Reporting in the International Journal of Obesity, the researchers acknowledge the lower predictive capacity of HTGW.

Nonetheless, they suggest that “HTGW may be a simple and applicable clinical tool to detect subjects with cardiometabolic risk, particularly in young individuals who do not fulfill the criteria for [the metabolic syndrome].”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Anita Wilkinson