Effectiveness of A Body Shape Index (ABSI) in predicting chronic diseases and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis

M. Ji, S. Zhang, R. An

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anthropometric measures are simple, inexpensive, noninvasive tools to assess the risk of morbidity and mortality. This systematic review assessed the performance of A Body Shape Index (ABSI) in predicting hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and all-cause mortality and compared the differential predictability between ABSI and two other common anthropometric measures – body mass index and waist circumference. A keyword and reference search were conducted in the PubMed and Web of Science for articles published until 1 November 2017. Thirty-eight studies were included in the review, including 24 retrospective cohort studies and 14 cross-sectional studies conducted in 15 countries. Meta-analysis found that a standard deviation increase in ABSI was associated with an increase in the odds of hypertension by 13% and type 2 diabetes by 35% and an increase in cardiovascular disease risk by 21% and all-cause mortality risk by 55%. ABSI outperformed body mass index and waist circumference in predicting all-cause mortality but underperformed in predicting chronic diseases. ABSI is highly clustered around the mean with a rather small variance, making it difficult to define a clinical cutoff for clinical practice. Future studies are warranted to assess ABSI's potential usefulness as an anthropometric measure in population-level health surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-759
Number of pages23
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • A body shape index
  • chronic disease
  • mortality
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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