BACKGROUND: Visceral obesity is the most powerful contributor to the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cardiovascular diseases. In light of visceral obesity, however, there is a paucity of data on the appropriate cutoff point of waist circumference (WC) in subjects with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the optimal cutoff value for WC that signals insulin resistance (IR) and visceral obesity in Koreans with type 2 diabetes.
METHODS: We evaluated 4,252 patients with type 2 diabetes (male 2,220, female 2,032, mean age 57.24 years) who visited our clinic between January 2003 and June 2009. WC was measured at the midpoint between the lower rib and the iliac crest, and insulin sensitivity was assessed by the rate constant of plasma glucose disappearance (Kitt %/min) using an insulin tolerance test. Visceral fat thickness was measured using ultrasonography. Statistical analysis was performed using receiver operating characteristic curve.
RESULTS: The optimal cutoff points for WC for identifying the presence of IR and visceral obesity, as well as two or more metabolic components, were 87 cm for men and 81 cm for women. Moreover, these cutoff points had the highest predictive powers for the presence of visceral obesity. The MetS defined by new criteria correlated with the increased carotid intima-media thickness in female subjects.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the optimal cutoff values for WC in Koreans with type 2 diabetes should be reestablished based on IR and visceral obesity.