Accuracy of different cutoffs of the waist-to-height ratio as a screening tool for cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies

Yasmin Ezzatvar, Mikel Izquierdo, Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, Borja del Pozo Cruz, Antonio García-Hermoso*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The present systematic review with meta-analysis sought to estimate the accuracy of different waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) cutoff ranges as risk indicators for cardiometabolic health in different populations of children and adolescents. Systematic searches were undertaken to identify studies in apparently healthy participants aged 3–18 years that conducted receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and reported area under the receiver operating characteristic curves for WHtR with any cardiometabolic biomarker. Forty-one cross-sectional studies were included in the meta-analysis, including 138,561 young individuals (50% girls). Higher area under summary receiver operating characteristic (AUSROC) values were observed in cutoffs between 0.46 and 0.50 (AUSROC = 0.83, 95%CI: 0.80–0.86) and ≥0.51 (AUSROC = 0.87, 95%CI: 0.84–0.90) (p < 0.001 in comparison with cutoffs 0.41 to 0.45), with similar results in both sexes. The AUSROC value increased in the East and Southeast Asian regions using a WHtR cutoff of ≥0.46 (AUSROC = 0.90, 95%CI: 0.87 to 0.92). A cutoff of ≥0.54 was optimal for the Latin American region (AUSROC = 0.96, 95%CI: 0.94–0.97). Our meta-analysis identified optimal cutoff values of WHtR for use in children and adolescents from different regions. Despite the widely accepted WHtR cutoff of 0.50, the present study indicated that a single cutoff value of WHtR may be inappropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13375
JournalObesity Reviews
Volume23
Issue number2
Number of pages10
ISSN1467-7881
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • anthropometric index
  • diagnostic test
  • metabolic syndrome
  • receiver-operating characteristic curve

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