A collaborative re-analysis of data from the InterAct case-control study conducted by Claudia Langenberg and colleagues has established that waist circumference is associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, independently of body mass index (BMI). Reporting in this week's PLoS Medicine, the researchers estimated the association of BMI and waist circumference with type 2 diabetes from measurements of weight, height and waist circumference, finding that both BMI and waist circumference were independently associated with type 2 diabetes risk but waist circumference was a stronger risk factor in women than in men.
These findings indicate that targeted measurement of waist circumference in overweight individuals (who now account for a third of the US and UK adult population) could be an effective strategy for the prevention of diabetes because it would allow the identification of a high-risk subgroup of people who might benefit from individualised lifestyle advice. The authors comment: "Our results clearly show the value that measurement of [waist circumference] may have in identifying which people among the large population of overweight individuals are at highest risk of diabetes."
Funding: EU Integrated Project LSHM-CT-2006-037197.The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. InterAct investigators acknowledge funding from the following agencies: KO: Danish Cancer Society; JS: Heisenberg-Professorship (SP716/2-1), clinical research group (KFO218/1), and a research group (Molecular Nutrition to JS) support of the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF); MJT: Health Research Fund (FIS) of the Spanish Ministry of Health; the CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain, Murcia Regional Government (Nu 6236); JWJB, HBBdM, IS, AMWS, DLvdA, YTvdS: Dutch Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), Netherlands Cancer Registry (NKR), LK Research Funds, Dutch Prevention Funds, Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek Nederland), World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), Statistics Netherlands; verification of diabetes cases was additionally funded by NL Agency grant IGE05012 and an Incentive Grant from the Board of the UMC Utrecht; FLC: Cancer Research UK; PWF: Swedish Research Council, Novo Nordisk, Swedish Diabetes Association, Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation; GH: The county of Västerbotten; RK: German Cancer Aid, Federal Ministry of Education and Research; TJK: Cancer Research UK; KK: Medical Research Council UK, Cancer Research UK; PN: Swedish Research Council; JRQ: Asturias Regional Government; BT: German Cancer Aid; Federal Ministry of Education and Research; AT: Danish Cancer Society; RT: AIRE-ONLUS Ragusa, AVIS-Ragusa, Sicilian Regional Government.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Citation: The InterAct Consortium (2012) Long-Term Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes and Measures of Overall and Regional Obesity: The EPIC-InterAct Case-Cohort Study. PLoS Med 9(6): e1001230. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001230
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