J Korean Acad Fam Med.  2005 Dec;26(12):766-773.

The Association of Visceral Fat Area with Anthropometric Variables and its Risk for Metabolic Syndrome

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. hoonhp@hanyang.ac.kr


BACKGROUND: Obesity and visceral fat accumulation have been known as independent risk factors of cardiovascular diseases with increased risk of metabolic syndrome. Visceral fat can be accurately calculated by using CT. The purpose of this study was to investigate what anthropometric variables was the most useful predictor for visceral fat obesity and to suggest the cut-off level of abdominal visceral fat area leading to increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
The subjects were with 112 individuals who visited Hanyang University Hospital (56 men, 56 women). Abdominal fat area was calculated from CT scan done at the level of the L4 vertebra. The morbidity index for metabolic risk factor was calculated by the sum of five risk factors scores.
The visceral fat area was significantly correlated with the waist circumference (r=0.70, P<0.01). Neither the ratio of visceral fat to subcutaneous fat nor the one to total abdominal fat was significantly correlated with any of anthropometric variables. The sagittal diameter on abdominal CT was closely correlated with the area of visceral fat and waist circumference (r=0.80, 0.79, each). The odds ratio of having the risk of metabolic syndrome was steeply increased with the abdominal visceral fat area level of 120~139 cm2 or more after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index. The visceral fat area of 10 cm2 raised the risk of metabolic syndrome by 1.14 times (95% CI; 1.03~1.27).
Waist circumference can be a relatively good parameter for predicting abdominal visceral fat area. The threshold of the likelihood of having metabolic syndrome was an abdominal visceral fat area of 120 cm2.


obesity; visceral fat; waist circumference; metabolic syndrome

MeSH Terms

Abdominal Fat
Body Mass Index
Cardiovascular Diseases
Intra-Abdominal Fat*
Odds Ratio
Risk Factors
Subcutaneous Fat
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Waist Circumference
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