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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Cut off values of waist circumference & associated cardiovascular risk in egyptians

M Mohsen Ibrahim1*, Ahmed A Elamragy1, Hanan Girgis2 and Mona A Nour3

Author Affiliations

1 Cardiology Department - Cairo University Faculty of Medicine, Kasr Al-Aini St., Cairo, 11562, Egypt

2 Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), 1 Magless El Shaàb st., Cairo, 11582, Egypt

3 Tropical Medicine Department - Cairo University Faculty of Medicine, Kasr Al-Aini St., Cairo, 11562, Egypt

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2011, 11:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-53

Published: 16 August 2011



Recent guidelines stressed the need to adopt different values of waist circumference (WC) measurements to define abdominal obesity in different ethnic groups. The aim of this study is to identify WC cutoff points in normotensive and hypertensive subjects which are diagnostic of abdominal obesity in a Middle Eastern population and the prevalence of abdominal obesity in a nationwide sample.


Data were collected during phase-2 of the Egyptians National Hypertension Project survey. Blood pressure, anthropometric measurements and laboratory studies were performed according to a standardized protocol by trained personnel. To derive the cutoff points for WC, we applied the factor analysis on CV risk factors: diabetes mellitus, decrease in HDL-C and increase in LDL-C, triglycerides and left ventricular mass index by echocardiography.


The sample included 2313 individuals above the age of 25 years. WC values (mean ± SD) were 88 ± 14 cm and 95 ± 14 cm for normotensive (NT) and hypertensive (HT) men respectively, and 89.6 ± 14.7 cm and 95.7 ± 15.9 cm for NT and HT women respectively. Applying factor analysis, the weighted average cutoff points were 93.5 cm for both NT and HT men and 91.5 and 92.5 cm for NT and HT women respectively. Based on these thresholds, the prevalence of abdominal obesity was 48% in men and 51.5% in women.


This is the first report of specific abdominal obesity cutoff points in a Middle Eastern country. The cutoff points were different from the Europid standards. There is a high prevalence rate of abdominal obesity among Egyptians which is associated with increased prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors.

Abdominal Obesity; Waist Circumference; Risk Factors; Developing Countries; Egypt