ESPE Abstracts (2015) 84 P-3-865

Waist Circumference to Body Height is a Suitable Measure of Cardiovascular Risk in Overweight and Obese Children

Vira Yakovenkoa,b, Ulrike Teufela, Laura Henna, Markus Bettendorfa, Georg F Hoffmanna & Juergen Grulich-Henna


aChildren’s Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; bChildren’s Hospital, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany


Background: Several methods have been used to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular diseases in obese children. Both BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were suggested as risk factors. However, they did not prove to estimate the risk for cardiovascular events in adulthood. Recent studies suggest that the ratio of waist circumference to body height (WHtR) is a more reliable predictor for cardiovascular risk in 6-10-year old children (Kuba et al. 2013).

Objective and hypotheses: To evaluate WHtR as an indicator for cardiovascular risk factors in 8–18 year old children with overweight and obesity. Furthermore changes in WHtR during an obesity intervention program were studied.

Method: The study included 93 children and adolescents between 8 and 18 years with a BMI above the 85th percentile who participated in an outpatient obesity program. WHtR was considered critical if it exceeded a value of 0.5. The children received individual nutritional and exercise counseling and were examined before start of the program and after 6 months.

Results: The mean WHtR was 0.58+0.07 in obese children, and significantly lower in overweight children (0.51+0.04, P<0.001) before the intervention. It decreased significantly after weight loss in obese children (0.55+0.08) as well as in overweight participants (0.47±0.03). WHtR correlated significantly with HOMA index, leptin, uric acid, adiponectin, and systolic blood pressure. Weight loss also lead to an improvement in these cardiovascular risk factors.

Conclusion: In summary, our data indicate that WHtR is a reliable marker for cardiovascular risk factors in children and adolescents.

Funding: This work was supported by DAAD, Germany (grant number A/11/96804).

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