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Archives of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Print version ISSN 2359-3997On-line version ISSN 2359-4292


QUADROS, Teresa Maria Bianchini de; GORDIA, Alex Pinheiro; MOTA, Jorge  and  SILVA, Luciana Rodrigues. Utility of body mass index, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio as screening tools for hyperglycemia in young people. Arch. Endocrinol. Metab. [online]. 2016, vol.60, n.6, pp.526-531.  Epub Nov 24, 2016. ISSN 2359-3997.


To evaluate the ability of BMI, WC and WHtR to discriminate hyperglycemia in young people, and to determine whether there is an increase in the accuracy with the addition of WC and/or WHtR to BMI.

Subjects and methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 1,139 schoolchildren aged 6 to 17 years from Northeastern Brazil. Body weight, height, WC and fasting glucose levels were measured, and the BMI and WHtR were calculated. The presence of hyperglycemia was defined as a fasting glucose level ≥ 100 mg/dL.


The prevalence of hyperglycemia was 6.6%. Strong correlations were observed between the anthropometric indicators studied (BMI vs. WC = 0.87; BMI vs. WHtR = 0.87; WC vs. WHtR = 0.90). Hyperglycemia was more likely to be present in young people with excess weight (PR = 1.70), high WC (PR = 1.85), and high WHtR (PR = 1.91). The accuracies to discriminate hyperglycemia were significant, but low, for the individual (BMI = 0.56; WC = 0.53; WHtR = 0.55) and combined indicators (BMI + WC = 0.55; BMI + WHtR = 0.55).


Our findings do not support the use of BMI, WC or WHtR as screening tools for hyperglycemia in children and adolescents.

Keywords : Pediatric obesity; anthropometry; pediatrics; hyperglycemia; diabetes mellitus.

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