Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome



J Korean Soc Study Obes 2004; 13(1): 14-21

Published online January 1, 2004

Copyright © Korean Society for the Study of Obesity.

The Cut-off Values of Body Fat to Identify Cardiovascular Risk Among Korean Adults

Soo Jung Sim,Hye Soon Park

Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine


Objective: Obesity is characterized by an excess of body fat. Excess body fat is related to increase cardiovascular risk, but most of previous studies were obtained by anthropometry, such as body mass index as indices of obesity. In this study we attempted to establish appropriate cut-off levels of % body fat to increase cardiovascular risk in Korean.
Methods: The study subjects were recruited from Health Examination Center. The analysis included 44,136 individual (27,247 males and 16,889 females, aged 20~80 yr), who did not have a history of malignant disease, diabetes, and thyroid disease. Health risk questionnaire, clinical examination for cardiovascular risk factors, and anthropometric measurements were performed, The percent body fat was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analyser. We calculated adjusted odds ratio (OR) for cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure≥140/90 mmHg, fasting glucose≥126 mg/dL, total cholesterol≥240 mg/dL, triglyceride≥200 mg/dL, HDL-cholesterol<35 mg/dL) according to percent body fat by multiple logistic regression analysis.
Result: Percent body fat was divided by 6 groups (<15, 15~20, 20~25, 25~30, 30~35, and ≥35% in male, <20, 20~25, 25~30, 30~35, 35~40, and ≥40% in female). In male, adjusted OR for cardiovascular risk factors according to % body fat were 1.7, 2.7, 3.8, 5.0, and 9.9 for hypertension, 2.4, 4.1, 5.9, 7.0, and 12.5 for hyperglycemia, 1.8, 2.8, 3.8, 4.4, and 2.6 for hypercholesterolemia, 4.3, 8.5, 12.1, 14.0, and 22.0 for hypertriglyceridemia, and 2.3, 3.4, 4.3, 4.8, and 8.0 for low HDL-cholesterol. In female, adjusted OR were 1.2, 2.0, 2.7, 4.0, and 6.6 for hypertension, 1.1, 1.8, 2.9, 3.5, and 4.6 for hypercholesterolemia, 1.9, 4.6, 7.3, 9.8, and 10.6 hypertriglyceridemia, and 1.8, 2.7, 3.5, 3.8, and 3.7 for low HDL-cholesterol. The OR for clustering of cardiovascular risk factors increased abruptly at the point of 25% and 30% of body fat in male and female, respectively.
Conclusion: The cut-off value of percent body fat to increase cardiovascular risk was 25% in male, 30% in female among Korean.

Keywords: Percent body fat, Cut-off value, Cardiovascular risk factors, Korean