Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: Obesity associated metabolic diseases have reached epidemic levels in many South Asian countries. Conventional anthropometric indices have poor sensitivity and specificity for detecting people with increased metabolic risks. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare WHtR (Waist to Height Ratio) as a marker of diabetes and cardio-metabolic risks with existing classical anthropometric indices such as; Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist Circumference (WC) and Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) in a large sub-population of ethnic South Asians. METHODS: A total of 5000 subjects recruited from a nationally representative community-based sample using multi-stage random cluster-sampling method. Anthropometric, biochemical and clinical parameters were measured. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves were performed and area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each anthropometric index. RESULTS: Sample size was 4485. The mean WHtR in all adults was 0.496 (±0.077), males (0.477±0.065) had a significant lower WHtR than females (0.508±0.081) (p<0.001). WHtR had the highest correlation with metabolic parameters. In all adults, males and females the AUC of WHtR was significantly higher than that of BMI, WC and WHR in diabetes mellitus, pre-diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and hypercholesterolemia. Mean age, fasting blood glucose, 2-h post prandial blood Glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were all significantly higher among all adults, males and females with WHtR≥0.5. CONCLUSIONS: WHtR is a simple and effective anthropometric index to identify obesity associated metabolic risks among Sri Lankan adults.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Res Clin Pract

Publication Date





292 - 299


Adult, Aged, Anthropometry, Area Under Curve, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Biomarkers, Body Height, Female, Humans, Male, Metabolic Diseases, Middle Aged, Obesity, Prediabetic State, Risk Factors, Sri Lanka, Waist Circumference