Correlation of waist to calf circumference ratio and carotid intima-media thickness in diabetes mellitus

Harish A. Rao, Prakash Harischandra, Srikanth Yadav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Diabetes mellitus is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease because of the accelerated process of atherosclerosis. Obesity is an established risk factor and has gained immense importance in recent studies as an important risk factor for clinical cardiovascular disease, yet the fundamental component stays unclear. Calf circumference is another form for lean mass and peripheral subcutaneous fat and is inversely associated with the occurrence of carotid plaques (CP). Multiplicative and opposite effects of both Calf Circumference (CC) and Waist Circumference (WC) in the event of CP suggest that the two measures should be taken into account commonly while assessing vascular risk profile. Aims & Objectives: To ascertain if waist to calf circumference ratio (WCR) is a marker of carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the correlation between waist to calf circumference ratio and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study at Hospital affiliated to Kasturba Medical college Mangalore from Sept 2016 to Sept 2018. Patients with type 2 DM as per ADA criteria, age >18years, are recruited for the study. Results and Discussion: In our study, with 150 population, 25 patients had carotid atherosclerosis and 20 patients had CIMT>1.1. The waist circumference in patients with CA is in the range of 93.07, and 99.85 & the CC in patients with CA is in the range of 29.49 to 31.25. The WCR in patients with CA is in the range of 3.12 to 3.26. The difference was statistically significant with a p-value of <0.05. In our study, it was found that WC and WCR correlated well with carotid atherosclerosis, and surprisingly, calf circumference also correlated with carotid atherosclerosis but not as significant as both WC and WCR. Conclusion: To conclude, in our population-based study of 150 subjects, we found that carotid atherosclerosis is significantly more in people with increased waist calf circumference ratio. WCR may be a new, useful, and practical anthropometric index that facilitates the early identification of diabetic subjects with high risk for cardiovascular disease. Validation of this finding in individual populations is required. Future studies should test the association of calf circumference with carotid intima-media thickness and carotid plaques using better measures than ultrasound, such as magnetic resonance imaging. Further research focusing on underlying mechanisms in the role of lean mass and peripheral fat mass is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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