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Description and evaluation of a self-operated waist measurement device


Background National guidelines recommend that waist circumference (WC) be measured in patients with a body mass index (BMI) 27–35 kg/m2. Unfortunately, perhaps due to logistical reasons, WC is seldom measured in clinical settings. Herein, we describe the performance of a self-operated waist measurement device (SOWMD) as a potential means to overcome barriers to measuring WC.

Materials and methods Ten volunteers underwent WC measures by professionals and SOWMD on 5 separate days to assess the reproducibility and accuracy. We then compared SOWMD measures with CT-derived fat content by recruiting 81 patients scheduled for a diagnostic abdominal CT scan.

Results There was no difference between professionally measured and SOWMD-measured WC; the intraindividual coefficient of variation over the 5 days was between 0.4% and 2.2%. The WC measured manually, by SOWMD and CT scan were highly correlated (r=0.90–0.92, all p<0.001). The minimal WC measured by SOWMD was a better predictor (r=0.81 for all patients, r=0.87 for men, both p<0.001) of CT-measured visceral adipose tissue volume than other approaches. The minimal WC measured by SOWMD was correlated with fasting plasma glucose (r=0.40, p<0.05), triglyceride (r=0.41, p<0.01) and high-density cholesterol (r=−0.49, p<0.001) concentrations.

Conclusion SOWMD is a reproducible, accurate and convenient way to measure WC that can provide added value for health care providers when combined with BMI information.

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Patient Care
  • Primary Healthcare

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