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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Nov;89(11):5517-22.

The metabolic syndrome in obese postmenopausal women: relationship to body composition, visceral fat, and inflammation.

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  • 1Section of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157, USA.


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether aerobic fitness, body composition, body fat distribution, and inflammation are different in obese postmenopausal women with and without the metabolic syndrome (MS), and whether the severity of MS is associated with these characteristics. Fifty-eight women (age, 59 +/- 1 yr; body mass index, 33.0 +/- 0.6 kg/m2)completed testing of maximal aerobic capacity, body composition (fat mass, lean mass, and percent body fat), body fat distribution (sc and visceral fat areas, and regional adipocyte sizes), and inflammation (C-reactive protein, IL-6, and TNF-alpha,and their soluble receptors). Lean mass (44.4 +/- 0.9 vs. 41.2 +/- 0.9 kg; P < 0.05), visceral fat area (180 +/- 10 vs. 135 +/- 7 cm2; P <0.001), and plasma soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1; 860 +/- 25 vs. 765 +/- 42 pg/ml; P < 0.05) were higher in women with the MS(n = 27) than in those without the MS (n = 31). The number of MS components was directly related to weight, body mass index, fat mass, lean mass, visceral fat area, and plasma sT-NFR1. We conclude that obese older women with the MS are characterized by high lean mass, high visceral fat, and elevated sTNFR1, and the severity of the MS is associated with body composition, visceral adiposity, and inflammation.

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