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The aim of this survey was to assess the association between the three simple anthropometric indices (body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and waist circumference [WC]) and various metabolic disorders, and to identify which indices can best predict metabolic disorders in Taiwan.A cross-sectional hospital-based survey was carried out from January to December 2000. We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of all the patients receiving periodic health examination with scheduled items at China Medical University Hospital. Anthropometric indices, metabolic profiles, and abdominal sonography were performed. A total of 746 people aged 19 to 87 were recruited as subjects for this study. The t test, χ2 test, and stepwise multivariate logistic regression were used.The subjects included 44.5% women and 55.5% men, with a mean age of 50.74 ± 12.68 years. After controlling for the other covariables, stepwise multivariate logistic regression showed considerable statistical significance between overall obesity and hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperuricemia, and fatty liver. There is also statistical significance between abdominal obesity and abnormal ratio of total cholesterol HDL (high-density lipoprotein), hyperuricemia, and fatty liver. None of the indices revealed any association with hyperglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, abnormal low-density lipoprotein, or abnormal HDL.BMI and WC can best predict some metabolic disorders. For practical reasons, the combined measurement of BMI and WC is the simple and inexpensive anthropometric index for primary health care settings in the routine physical examinations of adults. We hope this study can establish the background data for further investigation on the epidemiology of anthropometric indices in Taiwan.