Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 187–195

Sagittal abdominal diameter: comparison with waist circumference and its prediction of metabolic syndrome

  • Lorenzo M. Donini
  • Luciano Scavone
  • Claudia Savina
  • Cecilia Coletti
  • Maddalena Paolini
  • Settimio Tempera
  • Barbara Neri
  • Maria Rosaria De Felice
  • Alessandro Pinto
  • Carlo Cannella
Original Article



For an “in the field” estimate of visceral adiposity, simple, inexpensive, non-invasive and highly repetitive methods are needed. The anthropometric measurement most commonly used as an indicator for visceral fat deposits is waist circumference (W). Nevertheless, there are some doubts with regard to the anatomic landmark points where the evaluation needs to be carried out. Sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) is another anthropometric measurement that has been proposed for the estimation of visceral fat.


The aims of the study are to evaluate intra- and inter-operator variability of the estimation of the SAD compared to W; correlate SAD to other anthropometric parameters and to factors involved in the metabolic syndrome (MS); and identify the values for the estimation of the SAD able to classify different risk levels with respect to the MS.


Ninety-five subjects at the Metabolic and Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit “Villa delle Querce” in Nemi were selected. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were collected. The presence of a MS was detected. Intra- and inter-operator variability in the measurement of W and SAD and the predictive capacity of SAD in the estimation of the risk for MS were calculated.


The main results achieved were reduced intra- and inter-operator variability in the measurement of SAD compared to W; confirmation of the correlations between SAD and the anthropometric parameters as indicators of a higher fat mass; and good predictive capacity of SAD towards MS (cut-off points: 22.2 cm for men and 19.5 cm for women).


Nutritional status Metabolic syndrome Sagittal abdominal caliper Waist circumference 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo M. Donini
    • 1
  • Luciano Scavone
    • 2
  • Claudia Savina
    • 2
  • Cecilia Coletti
    • 2
  • Maddalena Paolini
    • 2
  • Settimio Tempera
    • 1
  • Barbara Neri
    • 1
  • Maria Rosaria De Felice
    • 2
  • Alessandro Pinto
    • 1
  • Carlo Cannella
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Physiopathology (Food Science Laboratory)“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Clinical Institute “Villa delle Querce”Nemi, RomeItaly

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