Waist-thigh ratio to help identify diabetes-prone folks

PUBLISHED ON NOV 20, 2019 06:57 PM IST

PRAYAGRAJ: Next time, when you undress, look at yourself in the mirror. If you have a large belly and skinny thighs, you are liable to develop diabetes in the future, so say experts.

A simple non-invasive test involving the measurements of an individual’s waist and thigh, to ascertain the waist-thigh ratio (WTR), has been developed by a team of doctors led by Sangam city’s Dr Shivanjali Kumar Chaturvedi of Kumars Clinic and Dr Sarita Bajaj of MLN Medical College. Their findings have been published in various journals, including the ‘Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism’.

Apart from Dr Chaturvedi, experts like Dr Kamal Kumar of Prayagraj and medicos from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, including Atul Gogia, Atul Kakar and Shrishti Paul Byotra are part of this team.

In this measurement comparison technique, if an individual has a big waist and thin thighs, he or she stands at a high probability of suffering from diabetes as compared to the opposite scenario, said Dr Chaturvedi.

“The fat around the belly is known as visceral fat and the fat in the thighs is called the subcutaneous fat and structurally, we Indians tend to have big bellies and thin legs, whereas the reverse would be ideal,” the doctor said, who has been using this technique since 2017 and has found it very effective.

In the papers published, Dr Chaturvedi and her team have reported that Indians with a greater thigh circumference were less likely to have or develop diabetes compared to those with thinner thighs. The WTR was greater in patients who had or were prone to having diabetes and this simple test had an accuracy of almost 85%, she added.

“Data from 1,055 North-Indian subjects – in the age group 25 to 90 years – was analysed. Comprising 504 females and 550 males, we divided them into diabetic and non-diabetic groups and out of several anthropo-metric measurements, studied the WTR correlated significantly and positively with all three measures of diabetes ie fasting, random and post-fasting”, she said.

The patient’s history, physical examination, and various investigations have been included in the analysis to reach the WTR. These investigations include complete blood count, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) estimation, kidney function tests, liver function tests and urine examination.

“Our greater concern is the fact that almost half of these diabetics are undiagnosed and unless we identify those at risk from it as early as possible, we cannot make timely intervention, and for this, we require simple and inexpensive screening tools that can be used easily,” she said.

“Used as a simple screening process in the outpatient clinic, the WTR can help us in the early detection of diabetes by identifying those at risk and determining the need for further investigations. This may prove to be of utmost use as a simple and inexpensive diagnostic and screening tool, especially in a developing country such as ours,” said the doctor.

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