Reference intervals of complete blood count constituents are highly correlated to waist circumference: should obese patients have their own "normal values?"

American Journal of Hematology
Jennifer VuongGeorge Cembrowski


Body mass index (BMI), the prevalent indicator of obesity, is not easily grasped by patients nor physicians. Waist circumference (WC) is correlated to obesity, is better understood and has a stronger relationship to the metabolic syndrome. We compiled WC, complete blood count (CBC) parameters as well as other pertinent data of 6766 25-55-year-old US volunteers sampled in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in the years 2005-2010. To determine reference intervals of typical US patients visiting their clinician, we used minimal exclusion criteria. We compiled hemoglobin, red blood cell count, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, mean cell hemoglobin (MCH), red cell distribution width (RDW), platelet count, mean platelet volume, and counts of white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. In addition, we also compiled serum C reactive protein and serum iron. The three major US races were studied and reference interval diagrams were constructed for each CBC parameter plotted against WC. WBC count, RDW, lymphocyte, neutrophil, and red blood cell count increase with WC. Conversely, serum iron and MCH and MCV decrease. Thes...Continue Reading


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