A Proposal for the Cutoff Point of Waist Circumference for the Diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome in the Japanese Population

  1. Kazuo Hara, MD, PHD123,
  2. Yumi Matsushita, PHD13,
  3. Momoko Horikoshi, MD, PHD1,
  4. Nobuo Yoshiike, MD, PHD3,
  5. Tetsuji Yokoyama, PHD4,
  6. Heizo Tanaka, MD, PHD5 and
  7. Takashi Kadowaki, MD, PHD123
  1. 1Department of Metabolic Diseases, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
  3. 3National Institute of Health and Nutrition, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4National Institute of Public Health, Saitama, Japan
  5. 5Seitoku College, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Takashi Kadowaki, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Metabolic Diseases, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan. E-mail: kadowaki-3im{at}h.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Over the past 2 decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of subjects with the metabolic syndrome in Japan as well as in Western countries. Because subjects with the metabolic syndrome have an elevated risk of development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (1–3), there is an urgent need to establish strategies to prevent an epidemic of this syndrome. In particular, a practical and sensitive screening system must be established to detect the metabolic syndrome. At present, there are two internationally recognized definitions of the metabolic syndrome, namely those of the World Health Organization (4) and the National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP III) (5). In an attempt to establish a unified definition for the metabolic syndrome, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has very recently announced a new definition of the metabolic syndrome that is expected to be suitable for use in clinical practice worldwide (6). The IDF defines metabolic syndrome as the presence of central obesity plus any two of the following four factors (raised triglyceride level, reduced HDL cholesterol, raised blood pressure, and raised fasting plasma glucose). The IDF recommended that the cutoff level used for the waist circumference to define central obesity should be different among different ethnic groups (7). In fact, the new IDF definition has proposed ethnicity-specific cutoff values for waist circumference, namely, 94 and 80 cm for European men and women, respectively, and 85 and 90 …

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