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Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética

On-line version ISSN 2174-5145Print version ISSN 2173-1292


ALCOCER OLACIREGUI, Adalgisa Esther; VARGAS MORANTH, Rusvelt Franklin  and  NAVARRO LECHUGA, Edgar. Area under the ROC curve of Body fat percentage to assess Metabolic syndrome in adults from Barranquilla, Colombia. Rev Esp Nutr Hum Diet [online]. 2017, vol.21, n.4, pp.351-359. ISSN 2174-5145.


The aim of the present work was to determine the relationship between body fat and Metabolic Syndrome (MS) in adults of a Colombian Caribbean locality using ROC curves.

Material and Methods:

A cross-sectional study was carried out with 552 adults aged 20 to 64 years, with complete information on: lipid profile, glycemia and anthropometric measurements: weight, height, blood pressure, waist circumference and skinfolds. Body fat percentage was calculated by means of Siri, Brozeck and Lean equations and the presence of MS was determined through 4 consensuses: AHA, ATP III, IDF and Harmonized. To compare body fat averages according to these, Student’s T and/or Mann Whitney U were used. ROC curve analysis was used to determine cut-off points of body fat to determine SM.


Body fat means were higher in subjects with MS regardless of the method used (p<0.05). The areas under the ROC curve ranged between 63% and 76.9%, with sensitivities between 50% and 85%, and specificities between 51% and 78%. The highest value of the area under the curve (0.77; cut-off point: 37.1, sensitivity: 60.8, specificity: 78.8%) was obtained by Lean-waist and the consensus of AHA and using Siri and the Harmonized consensus obtained the lowest value (0.63; cut-off point: 28.5, sensitivity: 80%, specificity: 42.5%).


The analysis of ROC curves allows identifying the relationship between body fat and metabolic syndrome. It could be used as a screening test, taking into account that the values of sensitivity and specificity depend on the anthropometric measurements and the equations used.

Keywords : Metabolic Syndrome; Adipose Tissue; ROC Curve; Mass Screening.

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