Background: Sex-specific body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) cut-off values have been validated for a limited number of ethnic groups. We aimed to derive these cut-off values for Amerindians, Creoles, Hindustani, Javanese, Maroons and Mixed living in Suriname. Methods: Data from individuals aged 20-65, in the Suriname Health Study was used to derive optimal cut-off values for BMI and WC for the prediction of hypertension (n. =4910) and cardio-metabolic risk (n. =2924). Results from the analysis with Receiver Operating Curves were calculated and compared these with recommended values. Results: The area under the ROC curve was consistently higher for WC compared to BMI among Creoles, Hindustani, Maroons and Mixed. The BMI cut-off values ranged from 24.8kg/m2 for Creole men and 26.9kg/m2 for Maroon women to 28.4kg/m2 and 30.2kg/m2 for Amerindian men and women, respectively. The WC cut-off values ranged from 80.7cm for Maroon men, 86.7cm for Javanese women to 90.8cm for Hindustani men and 95.7cm for Amerindian women. Optimal BMI cut-off values approximated Asian cut-off values from the World Health Organization whilst those of WC for men approximated and for women exceeded cut-off values from the International Diabetes Federation. Conclusion: In most ethnic groups, we found better discriminatory power for WC compared to BMI in the relation with cardiovascular risk factors. The estimated BMI and WC cut-off values differed between ethnic groups. Further studies are needed to identify cut-off values related to the future risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

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Obesity Research and Clinical Practice
Department of Epidemiology

Krishnadath, I. S. K., Toelsie, J. R., Nahar-van Venrooij, L. M., Hofman, A., & Jaddoe, V. (2016). Ethnic and sex-specific cut-off values for adult obesity in the Suriname Health Study. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice. doi:10.1016/j.orcp.2016.09.011