Anthropometrics, Metabolic Syndrome, and Mortality Hazard
Independent indices (height, body mass index, a body shape index, and hip index) derived from basic anthropometrics have been found to be powerful predictors of mortality hazard, especially when the attributable risks are summed over these indices to give an anthropometric risk index (ARI). The metabolic syndrome (MS) is defined based on the co-occurrence of anthropometric, clinical, and laboratory criteria and is also widely employed for evaluating disease risk. Here, we investigate correlations between ARI and MS in a general population sample, the United States Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Baseline values of ARI and MS were also evaluated for their association with mortality over approximately 20 years of follow-up. ARI was found to be positively correlated with each component of MS, suggesting connections between the two entities as measures of cardiometabolic risk. ARI and MS were both significant predictors of mortality hazard. Although the association of ARI with mortality hazard was stronger than that of MS, a combined model with both ARI and MS score as predictors improved predictive ability over either construct in isolation. We conclude that the combination of anthropometrics and clinical and laboratory measurements holds the potential to increase the effectiveness of risk assessment compared to using either anthropometrics or the current components of MS alone.