Relationship of Anthropometric Indices to Abdominal Body Composition: A Multi-Ethnic New Zealand Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Aya Cervantes, Ruma G. Singh, Jin U. Kim, Steve V. DeSouza, Maxim S. Petrov


Background: Conventional anthropometric indices (body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC)) have limitations, in part, due to ethnic differences in fat distribution. Assessment of abdominal body composition using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is increasingly used to gain deeper insights into the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic syndrome, but the knowledge of abdominal volumes in indigenous populations is scarce. This study aimed to assess abdominal fat distribution and total abdominal volume using MRI in a multi-ethnic cohort that includes Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) and Pacific Islanders (PI).

Methods: MRI was used to quantify subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volume, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volume and total abdominal (TAb) volume by two independent raters in a blinded fashion. WC and BMI were also measured. Multinomial regression was used to compare the volumes between ethnic groups. Linear regression was used to investigate the ethnicity-specific associations between anthropometric indices and abdominal volumes. Three statistical models were built to adjust for age, sex, prediabetes/diabetes status and other covariates.

Results: A total of 87 individuals (37 Caucasians, 24 Maori/PI and 26 others) were studied. Maori/PI had a significantly higher VAT volume compared with Caucasians across all statistical models, with the highest odds ratio of 2.1 (95% confidence interval: 1.1 - 4.2; P = 0.026). SAT and TAb volumes did not differ significantly between the groups. WC explained up to 72.9% of variance in VAT volume among Maori/PI and up to 50.7% among Caucasians. BMI explained up to 67.6% of variance in VAT volume among Maori/PI and up to 52.1% among Caucasians.

Conclusions: Greater visceral fat deposition among Maori/PI might go some way towards explaining the increased rates of metabolic disorders observed in this ethnic group. Conventional anthropometric indices do not correspond to the same abdominal volumes across different ethnic groups.

J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(6):435-446


Visceral fat; Subcutaneous fat; Abdominal volume; Magnetic resonance imaging; Ethnicity

Full Text: HTML PDF




Home     |     Log In     |      About     |      Search     |      Current     |      Archives     |      Submit      |     Subscribe

Aims and Scope

Current Issues

Conflict of Interest

About Publisher

Editorial Board



Company Profile

Editorial Office

Misconduct and Retraction


Company Registration

Contact Us

Abstracting and Indexing



Instructions to Authors


Declaration of Helsinki

Contact Publisher

Submission Checklist


Terms of Use

Company Address

Submit a Manuscript

Open Access Policy

Privacy Policy

Browse Journals

Publishing Fee

Publishing Policy


Recent Highlights

Peer-Review Process

Publishing Quality

Code of Ethics

Advertising Policy

Manuscript Tracking

Advanced Search

For Librarians


Publishing Process

Publication Frequency

For Reviewers

Propose a New Journal


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, monthly, ISSN 1918-3003 (print), 1918-3011 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.        
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.