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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992 Jul;16(7):495-504.

Body fat distribution in pre- and post-menopausal women: metabolic and anthropometric variables and their inter-relationships.

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  • 1Institute of Internal Medicine, Policlinico di Borgo Roma, Verona, Italy.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to compare body fat distribution and metabolic variables in pre- and post-menopausal women. Body fat distribution was measured using abdominal circumference and computerized tomography. No significant differences were found between the two groups as regards body weight, body mass index, waist-hip ratio and total abdominal adipose tissue areas. Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue areas were significantly higher in premenopausal women whereas visceral abdominal adipose tissue areas and the subcutaneous to visceral abdominal adipose tissue area ratios were significantly higher in post-menopausal subjects. After adjusting for body mass index, no significant differences emerged between the two groups as regards total abdominal adipose tissue areas, waist circumference, hip circumference and waist-hip circumference ratio; subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue areas were significantly lower and both visceral abdominal adipose tissue areas and visceral to subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue area ratios significantly higher in post-menopausal women (P less than 0.01). Basal glucose, sum of blood glucose values during oral glucose tolerance test and blood cholesterol values were significantly higher in the post-menopausal group (P less than 0.05), while no significant difference was observed in sum of blood insulin values during oral glucose tolerance test. Basal plasma insulin values, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were higher in post-menopausal women, though the differences were not significant. Only blood cholesterol was significantly higher in post-menopausal women after adjusting for visceral abdominal adipose tissue areas. Positive correlations emerged between age and waist-hip ratio (P less than 0.05), visceral abdominal adipose tissue areas and the visceral to subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue area ratio (P less than 0.001). A negative correlation was established between age and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue areas (P less than 0.01). There was a significant correlation between visceral abdominal adipose tissue areas and metabolic and haemodynamic variables in both pre- and post-menopausal women. In pre-menopausal women, body mass index correlated with basal glucose, basal insulin, sum of glucose during oral glucose tolerance test and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (P less than 0.05). When stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to evaluate the joint effect of anthropometric variables on metabolic variables, visceral abdominal adipose tissue area proved to be the most powerful variable for predicting metabolic disorders. Our data suggest that visceral abdominal adipose tissue areas and visceral to subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue area ratios increase with age. Obesity correlates directly with the amount of subcutaneous fat, but not with the distribution pattern.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

PMID:
1323546
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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