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Description and evaluation of a self-operated waist measurement device
  1. Yilin Song1,
  2. Kenneth A Philbrick2,
  3. Alexander D Weston3,
  4. Theodora Potretzke4,
  5. Kelli A Lytle1,
  6. Teresa Jensen5,
  7. Michael Dennis Jensen1
  1. 1Department of Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  3. 3Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  4. 4Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  5. 5Department of Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Dennis Jensen, Department of Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA; jensen{at}


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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  • Contributors TBJ and MDJ equally contributed to the conception and design of the research of device; YS contributed to participant recruitment, data collection and interpretation, and manuscript drafting; MDJ and KL contributed to data analysis and manuscript editions; KAP and ADW contributed to the design and development of the software obtaining and analysing the SOWMD data; TP contributed with overseeing and communicating with Radiology Department to ensure the study process.

  • Funding This study was supported by Mayo Clinic Office of Translation to Practice (MYC-002 PWCMD).

  • Competing interests Mayo Clinic, Michael D. Jensen and Teresa B. Jensen have financial conflicts of interest related to this research related to a patent pending at the time the research was conducted.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.