Waist circumference, not the metabolic syndrome, predicts glucose deterioration in type 2 diabetes

Michael J. Blaha, Tebeb Gebretsadik, Ayumi Shintani, Tom A. Elasy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We sought to assess the relationship between the metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, and glucose deterioration amongst patients with type 2 diabetes. Our prospective cohort consisted of 164 adult patients with established diabetes who have a history of poor glycemic control, have just completed an intensive intervention aimed at improved control, and have demonstrated reduced HbA1c prior to enrollment. Waist circumference and presence of metabolic syndrome were assessed at baseline, and patients were followed up (median 24 months) for assessment of the study outcome, namely, time-to-hyperglycemic relapse, predefined as HbA1c >8% and >1% rise over baseline. Kaplan-Meier estimates of relapse-free glucose maintenance and multivariable Cox regression models were used for quantifying the independent effects of the metabolic syndrome and waist circumference on risk of glucose deterioration. The mean baseline waist circumference was 42.9 ± 5.5 inches. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome was 80%. During follow-up, 39 patients (24%) experienced hyperglycemic relapse. The metabolic syndrome was not associated with time-to-relapse (P = 0.15). The waist circumference component by itself, however, was associated with increased likelihood of hyperglycemic relapse with an unadjusted hazard ratio of 3.4 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-9.7) and a hazard ratio of 3.2 (95% CI 1.1-9.1) after adjusting for age, gender, insulin use, weight change, and physical activity level. The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATPIII) metabolic syndrome had limited ability to predict glucose deterioration in this type 2 diabetes cohort. Waist circumference by itself, however, is a strong predictor of future glucose control, and may be a parsimonious tool for risk stratification. BMI may also be a useful predictive tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-874
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Waist circumference, not the metabolic syndrome, predicts glucose deterioration in type 2 diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this