Waist circumference cutoff points for predicting metabolic abnormalities in Lebanese adults
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Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Ministry of Public Health, Beirut, Lebanon
Submission date: 2018-07-22
Final revision date: 2019-02-27
Acceptance date: 2019-04-15
Publication date: 2019-07-22
Arch Med Sci Civil Dis 2019;4(1):64-71
Central obesity, as measured by waist circumference, performs differently across diverse localities, and there is a need to optimize gender-based cutoff points to specific ethnic and population groups.

Material and methods:
A total of 1,528 asymptomatic individuals free from cardiac disease aged 40 years and above and attending 25 primary health care centers distributed over the entire Lebanese territory were recruited for a cardiovascular risk screening service implemented by the Ministry of Public Health in 2012. Using receiver operating characteristics curve analyses, we evaluated different waist circumference cutoff points for the optimal combination of sensitivity and specificity that distinguish men and women with concomitant presence of impaired blood sugar and hypertension.

The optimal waist circumference cutoffs for prediction of the outcome were 98.5 cm in men and 91.5 cm in women, yielding better predictive characteristics than those recommended by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Based on the study values, the prevalence rates of central obesity in our sample (36.2% in males and 40.2% in females) were lower than those estimated using the IDF cutoff values (55.2% and 79.7%, respectively).

Findings from this first examination of optimal central obesity cutoff points in Lebanon confirm the need for nation-wide studies with more inclusive cardio-metabolic outcomes for the development of appropriate screening protocols.

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