Retrospective Analysis of Waist to Hip Ratio and the Relationship to Laboratory Values Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Children and Adolescents
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted to determine if WHR in overweight and obese pediatric patients is associated with metabolic syndrome laboratory markers. A secondary objective was to determine if WHR was significantly different across specific subgroups. Chart reviews were done for 754 adolescent patients enrolled in a weight management program with an age range of 6-17 yrs. Data were collected on WHR, lab results related to metabolic disorder, BMI, demographics, presence of Acanthosis Nigricans, and Tanner stage.
Results: WHR and HDL were negatively correlated, r (N = 597) = -.20, p < .001. WHR and triglycerides were positively correlated, r (N = 597) = .192, p < .001 as were WHR and LDL, r (N=596) = .087, p = .033, and WHR and insulin, r (N = 414) = .164, p = .001. Even in a sample of subjects with very restricted range, a one way ANOVA found a significant effect of WHR on BMI percentile, F (1, 754) = 22.428, p < .001, η2= .029.
Conclusion: Increased WHR correlated in children and adolescents with known indicators that could be suggestive of increased risk for metabolic syndrome, specifically HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, and Insulin. In addition, WHR was also related to BMI percentile. These results suggest that evaluation of WHR may be a useful tool to indicate risk for developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes in children and adolescents. Early identification and effective intervention may prevent or mediate these conditions and their harmful effects.