BALTIMORE, March 21 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers have found that a man's waistline is a better warning sign of his risk for type 2 diabetes than his body mass index.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University tracked 27,270 men over a period of 13 years and found that men who had larger waists or higher overall body fat had a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The researchers grouped the study participants into five groups according to their waist size. Compared to those in the group with the smallest waists (29-34 inches), the other groups (34.3-35.9 inches, 36.0-37.8 inches, 37.9-39.8 inches, 40-62 inches) were, respectively, two times, three times, five times and 12 times more likely to develop diabetes.
However, they said, the correlation between waistline measurement and actual diabetes risk was closer than the link between BMI and the disease.
"Both BMI and waist circumference are useful tools to assess health risk," said the study's lead author, Youfa Wang, "but abdominal fat measured by waist circumference can indicate a strong risk for diabetes whether or not a man is considered overweight or obese according to his BMI."