Research

Waist circumference percentiles of black South African children aged 10 - 14 years from different study sites

B S Motswagole, P O Ukegbu, H S Kruger, T Matsha, E Kimani-Murage, K D Monyeki, C M Smuts, M E Stuijvenberg, S A Norris, M Faber

Abstract


Background. Waist circumference (WC) is a useful predictor of cardiometabolic risk in children. Published data on WC percentiles of children from African countries are limited. 

Objectives. To describe age- and sex-specific WC percentiles in black South African (SA) children from different study sites, and compare these percentiles with median WC percentiles of African-American (AA) children. 

Methods. Secondary data on WC for 10 - 14-year-old black SA children (N=4 954; 2 406 boys and 2 548 girls) were extracted from the data sets of six studies. Smoothed WC percentile curves for boys and girls were constructed using the LMS method. The 50th percentile for age- and sex-specific WC measurements was compared across study sites and with AA counterparts. 

Results. Girls had higher WC values than boys from the 50th to 95th percentiles at all ages. The 50th WC percentiles of all groups of SA children combined were lower than those of AA children. When SA groups were considered separately, Western Cape children had median WC values similar to AA children, while rural Limpopo children had the lowest WC values. The 95th percentiles for Western Cape girls exceeded the adult cutoff point for metabolic syndrome (WC ≥80 cm) from age 11 years. 

Conclusions. The differences in WC values for 10 - 14-year-old children across the six study sites highlight the need for nationally representative data to develop age-, sex- and ethnic-specific WC percentiles for black SA children. The results raise concerns about high WC among Western Cape girls.


Authors' affiliations

B S Motswagole, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; National Food Technology Research Centre, Kanye, Botswana

P O Ukegbu, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umuahia, Nigeria

H S Kruger, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa;Medical Research Council Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease Research Unit, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

T Matsha, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

E Kimani-Murage, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya

K D Monyeki, Department of Physiology and Environmental Health, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa

C M Smuts, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

M E Stuijvenberg, Non-communicable Diseases Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

S A Norris, MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

M Faber, Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa; Non-communicable Diseases Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2019;13(1):27-35. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2019.v13i1.1543

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-04-11
Date published: 2019-04-11

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