Waist circumference as a vital sign in clinical practice: a Consensus Statement from the IAS and ICCR Working Group on Visceral Obesity

Robert Ross, Ian J. Neeland, Shizuya Yamashita, Iris Shai, Jaap Seidell, Paolo Magni, Raul D. Santos, Benoit Arsenault, Ada Cuevas, Frank B. Hu, Bruce A. Griffin, Alberto Zambon, Philip Barter, Jean Charles Fruchart, Robert H. Eckel, Yuji Matsuzawa, Jean Pierre Després

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite decades of unequivocal evidence that waist circumference provides both independent and additive information to BMI for predicting morbidity and risk of death, this measurement is not routinely obtained in clinical practice. This Consensus Statement proposes that measurements of waist circumference afford practitioners with an important opportunity to improve the management and health of patients. We argue that BMI alone is not sufficient to properly assess or manage the cardiometabolic risk associated with increased adiposity in adults and provide a thorough review of the evidence that will empower health practitioners and professional societies to routinely include waist circumference in the evaluation and management of patients with overweight or obesity. We recommend that decreases in waist circumference are a critically important treatment target for reducing adverse health risks for both men and women. Moreover, we describe evidence that clinically relevant reductions in waist circumference can be achieved by routine, moderate-intensity exercise and/or dietary interventions. We identify gaps in the knowledge, including the refinement of waist circumference threshold values for a given BMI category, to optimize obesity risk stratification across age, sex and ethnicity. We recommend that health professionals are trained to properly perform this simple measurement and consider it as an important ‘vital sign’ in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalNature Reviews Endocrinology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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    Ross, R., Neeland, I. J., Yamashita, S., Shai, I., Seidell, J., Magni, P., Santos, R. D., Arsenault, B., Cuevas, A., Hu, F. B., Griffin, B. A., Zambon, A., Barter, P., Fruchart, J. C., Eckel, R. H., Matsuzawa, Y., & Després, J. P. (2020). Waist circumference as a vital sign in clinical practice: a Consensus Statement from the IAS and ICCR Working Group on Visceral Obesity. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 16(3), 177-189. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-019-0310-7