Finding the anthropometric measure of visceral obesity is essential to clinical practice, because it predicts cardiovascular and metabolic risks. Sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) has been proposed as an estimate of visceral adipose tissue (VAT). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of SAD in predicting visceral obesity by comparing SAD to other anthropometric measures.
Estimation of subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue and measurement of SAD and transverse abdominal diameter using computed tomography at the umbilical level were obtained in 5,257 men and women who were enrolled in a health checkup program in Korea. To compare SAD to other anthropometric measures, linear regression analyses were used to determine correlations between anthropometrics and visceral obesity.
SAD showed a stronger correlation to VAT than waist circumference, BMI, and transverse abdominal diameter in the both sexes (men: r = 0.804, women: r = 0.724). Waist circumference showed generally stronger associations to subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) than to VAT (men: r = 0.789 vs. 0.705, women: r = 0.820 vs. 0.636). Even after subdividing according to age or BMI in both sexes and analyzing multiple regressions, SAD showed the strongest correlation to VAT.
SAD showed the strongest correlation to VAT irrespective of age, sex, and the degree of obesity compared with other anthropometric measures, whereas waist circumference may have a stronger correlation to SAT than to VAT. The clinical use of SAD has advantages over other anthropometric measures in predicting VAT.