Epidemiology

Body fat percentage cutoffs for risk of cardiometabolic abnormalities in the Chinese adult population: a nationwide study

Subjects

Abstract

Background/Objectives

The direct assessment of body fat (BF) by using simple methods might be an alternative index of obesity. We aim to investigate the optimal cutoffs of the %BF relating to metabolic disorders and cardiovascular risks in China.

Subjects/Methods

The data were from the 2007–2008 China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study. Participants with age of 20–75 years and with a BF measurement record were included. The %BF was measured using a foot-to-foot bioelectrical impedance analysis. Receiver operating characteristic curve was used to decide the optimal %BF cutoffs for predicting the risk of diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and 10-year cardiovascular events (estimated by Framingham risk score (FRS)).

Results

A total of 23,769 participants were enrolled with the mean age of 44.88 years, the male percentage of 40.59%, and the mean %BF of 25.22%. The mean %BFs of subjects who had diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and FRS ≥ 10% were higher than those without diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and FRS ≥ 10%, respectively. In men, the optimal %BF cutoffs for these four endpoints were 24.50%, 24.90%, 24.21%, and 22.10%, respectively. In women, they were 35.69%, 32.50%, 32.60%, and 32.31%, respectively. On the basis of the weights of these endpoints, the pooled optimal %BF cutoff was 23.67% and 32.88% in men and women, respectively.

Conclusions

We suggest the optimal foot-to-foot BIA-measured %BF cutoffs for predicting risk of cardiometabolic abnormalities to be 24% and 33% in Chinese men and women, respectively.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Chinese Medical Association Foundation and Chinese Diabetes Society. QJ was partly supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province, China (Grant No. 2013KTZB03-02-01). We thank all the physicians and participants of the study for their co-operation and generous participation.

Author contributions’

The authors’ responsibilities were as follows: AJ, SX, and JM contributed equally to the study. QJ and SX conceived and designed the study. AJ and JM contributed to the data extraction, performed the analysis, and interpreted the results. AJ and SX wrote the first draft; YX, JG, and MZ contributed to the revision of the final report. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Qiuhe Ji.

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Jia, A., Xu, S., Ming, J. et al. Body fat percentage cutoffs for risk of cardiometabolic abnormalities in the Chinese adult population: a nationwide study. Eur J Clin Nutr 72, 728–735 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0107-0

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