The hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype, the National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) criteria, and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria have been proposed as screening tools to identify subjects with features of the metabolic syndrome and therefore at increased cardiometabolic risk. The aim of the present study was to compare the ability of these 3 clinical approaches to identify individuals at increased cardiometabolic risk as suggested by the presence of deteriorated markers such as hyperinsulinemia, elevated apolipoprotein B levels, small low-density lipoprotein particles, high C-reactive protein concentrations, and low adiponectin levels. For that purpose, physical and cardiometabolic characteristics of a sample of 272 white men recruited for various metabolic investigations were studied. The hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype was defined as having both a high waist circumference (>or=90 cm) and increased fasting triglyceride levels (>or=2.0 mmol/L). Having at least 3 of the 5 NCEP-ATP III criteria or waist circumference of at least 94 cm plus any 2 of the 4 additional IDF criteria was also used to identify individuals at increased cardiometabolic risk. A large proportion of men with the hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype also met the NCEP-ATP III (82.7%) or IDF (89.2%) criteria. Men with the hypertriglyceridemic waist phenotype were characterized by alterations in their lipoprotein-lipid profile that included small low-density lipoprotein particles, increased apolipoprotein B and insulin levels, as well as reduced adiponectin concentrations, which were similar to individuals meeting the NCEP-ATP III or the IDF criteria. Moreover, the Framingham risk score of men meeting any of the 3 screening tools criteria was higher and was similar across the 3 approaches (4.2, 3.8, and 3.7, respectively). These results suggest that hypertriglyceridemic waist may be as discriminant as the NCEP-ATP III or the IDF criteria and could be used as an initial screening approach to identify individuals with deteriorated cardiometabolic risk markers.