According to a study published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Network publication, body mass index (BMI) together with waist measures (waist circumference, waist to height ratio) are connected with lipid and blood pressure evaluations among adolescents who are overweight or obese.
At present, BMI is used to determine whether an adolescent is overweight or obese. However, as BMI is unable to differentiate between fat and fat-free body mass, the researchers decided to include waist circumference (WC) as well as waist to height ratio (WHtR: WC divided by height), in relation to BMI in order to assess the role of waist measures in the lipid and blood pressure evaluations of adolescents classified by BMI.
Michael Khoury, M.D., of the University of Toronto, and the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada, and his team examined data on 4,104, students aged between 14 to 15 years from the Niagara Region in Ontario that was gathered during the student's mandatory physical education class. 3,248 students submitted full data for inclusion in the examination.
The authors discovered that the link between lipid profile, blood pressure and BMI alone, BMI/WC percentile, and BMI/WHtR, and were statistically significant. However, the team found that these associations were similar using each measure of obesity and had limited strength.
They adjusted for age and sex among overweight and obese adolescents and found that increasing WHtR categories corresponded with worsening lipid profiles, and that these associations occurred more frequently in obese adolescents.
Furthermore, the team found that obese adolescents had a higher risk of developing hypertension. This risk was even greater among obese adolescents with increase WHtR compared to those with more normal waist measures.
The researchers conclude:
"In conclusion, waist measures serve to further specify lipid and blood pressure assessments in overweight and obese adolescents, with the greatest associations noted for obese adolescents.
Waist measures appear to be important discriminating measurements when assessing lipid and blood pressure measurements in adolescents with high BMI and should be included when screening for cardiometabolic risk in overweight and obese adolescents."
Written by Grace Rattue