Objectives: To establish whether body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference (WC) is a better predictor of cardio metabolic risk factors that are associated with increased visceral fat among obese women from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: In this Cross-sectional study, 333 obese subjects visiting community health centers in Al Ain city, UAE, were recruited between 2012 and 2015. After a written consent subjects had anthropometric, clinical and biochemical measurements. Fasting serum and plasma samples were collected for the measurement of markers of oxidative damage, antioxidants and inflammation. Outcome measures were compared between 4 equal BMI and WC quartiles. Results: We observed significantly higher blood pressure, c-reactive protein levels, IL6 levels, and protein carbonyls contents and lower β-carotene levels in the fourth quartile than in the first quartile for both BMI and WC (p<0.01). Glutathione peroxidase and adiponectin both decreased and TNF-α increased with increasing WC quartiles but not BMI quartiles; however, the results were statistically significant only for TNF-α (p=0.032). Conclusion: Both elevated BMI and elevated WC are associated with increased cardio metabolic risk factors in obese Emirati women; however, WC is a stronger predictor than is BMI.
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