DXA reference values and anthropometric screening for visceral obesity in Western Australian adults

Jonathan M.D. Staynor, Marc K. Smith, Cyril J. Donnelly, Amar El Sallam, Timothy R. Ackland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Limited reference values exist for visceral adipose tissue (VAT) mass measured by DXA. The objectives of this study were to provide reference values for DXA-derived VAT mass and compare the association with anthropometry measures. The study cohort comprised 677 men and 738 women aged 18–65 years from Western Australia. Whole-body scans using a GE Lunar iDXA and anthropometry measures were collected. Reference percentile data were stratified by sex and age. Correlation analysis compared DXA-derived and anthropometry variables. Specificity, sensitivity, and Youden’s Index were used to evaluate the ability of anthropometric thresholds to predict individuals with high VAT. In men, waist circumference (WC), waist-hip ratio, and waist-height ratio (WHtR) had ‘high’ correlations with VAT mass. In women, only WHtR was ‘highly’ correlated with VAT mass. Overweight thresholds for WC, along with a body mass index of 25.0 kg/m2 in women, had the highest combination of sensitivity and specificity when using anthropometry measures to identify individuals with high VAT mass. We provide the first reference data sets for DXA-derived VAT mass among Western Australians. Excessive VAT mass may be identified in men using the overweight WC threshold and in women using both the overweight BMI and WC thresholds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18731
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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