New research shows that of the most common measures of overall obesity that strongly indicate the risk of type 2 diabetes, including high body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity, measured by a large waist circumference, abdominal obesity appears to be the better predictor.
In the study, researchers compared the predictive power of BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio for the development of type 2 diabetes in over 27 000 men.
Researchers note that BMI and waist circumference are useful for assessing health risk and should be measured in clinical settings whenever possible. However based on the study findings, abdominal fat measured by waist circumference can indicate a strong risk for diabetes whether or not a man is considered overweight or obese based on his BMI.
During 13 years of follow-up on the study participants, as waist circumference increased, so did the risk of developing diabetes, with the risk in men with the highest waist circumference (up to 158 centimeters) increasing by 12-fold.
Researchers conclude that the findings of this study suggest that the current recommended cutoff for high waist circumference for men be lowered since many of the men who developed type 2 diabetes had measurements lower than this cutoff.
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