Saf Health Work.  2012 Dec;3(4):287-293.

Evaluation of Waist Circumference Cut-off Values as a Marker for Fatty Liver among Japanese Workers

  • 1Kyushu Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Life Science & Systems Engineering, Fukuoka, Japan.
  • 2Nagasaki University, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan.


Metabolic syndrome has received attention as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with particular importance attached to visceral fat accumulation, which is associated with lifestyle-related diseases and is strongly correlated with waist circumference. In this study, our aim is to propose waist circumference cut-off values that can be used as a marker for fatty liver based on a sample of workers receiving health checkups in Japan.
This study was conducted in a total of 21,866 workers who underwent periodic health checkups between January 2007 and December 2007. The mean age of the subjects was 47.4 years for men (standard deviation [SD]: 8.0) and 44.7 years for women (SD: 6.9). Evaluation included abdominal ultrasound and measurement of waist circumference, body mass index, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Based on receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the optimal waist circumference cut-off values were shown as 85.0 cm (sensitivity 0.72, specificity 0.69) for men and 80.0 cm (sensitivity 0.75, specificity 0.78) for women.
Abdominal ultrasound is the most efficient means of diagnosing fatty liver, but this examination seldom occurs because the test is not routinely performed at workers' health checkups. In people found to have a high risk of fatty liver, recommendations can be made for abdominal ultrasound based on the waist circumference cut-off values obtained in this study. That is, waist circumference can be used in high risk individuals as an effective marker for early detection of fatty liver.


Waist circumference; Fatty liver; Health-check examination; Ultrasonography; Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis
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