European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 170, Issue 6, pp 731–739 | Cite as

Comparison of several anthropometric indices with insulin resistance proxy measures among European adolescents: The Helena Study

  • Katerina Kondaki
  • Evangelia Grammatikaki
  • David Jiménez Pavón
  • Yannis Manios
  • Marcela González-Gross
  • Michael Sjöstrom
  • Frédéric Gottrand
  • Dénes Molnar
  • Luis A. Moreno
  • Anthony Kafatos
  • Chantal Gilbert
  • Mathilde Kersting
  • Stefaan De Henauw
Original Paper


The aim of the current study was to compare the association of several anthropometric indices, with insulin resistance (IR) proxy measures in European adolescents. The present study comprises 1,097 adolescents aged 12.5–17.5 from ten European cities participating in the HELENA study. Weight, height, waist circumference (WC) and hip circumference, skinfolds thickness, fat mass (FM), fasting plasma glucose (GF) and serum insulin (IF) levels were measured. HOMA (as indicator of IR body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist to height ratio (WHtR) were calculated. IF and HOMA were statistically significantly related to BMI, WC, skinfold sum, WHtR, WHR and FM. BMI, WC, WHtR, skinfold sum and FM displayed similar correlation with IF and HOMA as opposed to WHR where lower correlation with IR indices was detected in the overall sample. Similar results were found for boys, girls and underweight/normal weight adolescents. On the other hand, WC and WHtR were found to be more strongly associated with IR proxy measures compared to the rest of anthropometric indices among overweight/obese subjects. Based on the current findings, WC and WHtR could be used, alternatively, to identify the overweight/obese adolescent at risk for developing IR. In addition, all aforementioned anthropometric indices, except WHR, could be used among the underweight/normal weight adolescents.


Body mass index Serum insulin Waist circumference Waist-to-height ratio Waist-to-hip ratio Skinfold sum 



Waist circumference


Insulin resistance


Waist-to-hip ratio


Waist-to-height ratio


Fatt mass


Body mass index


Moderate to vigorous physical activity


Physical activity


Cardiovascular disease


Fasting serum insulin


Fasting serum glucose


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katerina Kondaki
    • 1
    • 3
  • Evangelia Grammatikaki
    • 1
    • 3
  • David Jiménez Pavón
    • 2
  • Yannis Manios
    • 1
  • Marcela González-Gross
    • 4
  • Michael Sjöstrom
    • 5
  • Frédéric Gottrand
    • 6
  • Dénes Molnar
    • 7
  • Luis A. Moreno
    • 8
  • Anthony Kafatos
    • 9
  • Chantal Gilbert
    • 10
  • Mathilde Kersting
    • 11
  • Stefaan De Henauw
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and DieteticsHarokopio UniversityAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Health and Human Performance, Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del DeporteUniversidad Politécnica de MadridMadridSpain
  5. 5.Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Faculté de médecineUniversity of Lille 2LilleFrance
  7. 7.Department of PediatricsUniversity of PécsPécsHungary
  8. 8.Escuela Universitaria de Ciencias de la SaludUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  9. 9.Preventive Medicine and Nutrition UnitUniversity of Crete School of MedicineHeraklionGreece
  10. 10.Department of Consumer and Sensory SciencesCampden & Chorleywood Food Research AssociationChipping CampdenUK
  11. 11.Research Institute of Child NutritionRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnDortmundGermany

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