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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1993 Mar;17(3):131-7.

Association between blood lipids and different measures of body fat distribution: effects of BMI and age.

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  • 1University of Nebraska-Kearney, Human Performance Laboratory 68849.


The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and the waist circumference have been correlated with blood lipid parameters. However, both the WHR and the waist circumference have been measured in numerous ways by researchers, and it appears that standardization of the anatomical sites used in this measurement is necessary. The present study investigated the associations between five different WHR measurements and blood lipid parameters across age and BMI. Three hundred and twenty-four (324) males were assessed for cholesterol, HDL, LDL, VLDL, cholesterol/HDL ratio, and triglycerides. The waist was identified by three different sites which included the midpoint between the lower rib and iliac crest (ABAB), level of the umbilicus (UMB), and iliac crest (IC). The hip was measured at both the iliac crest (IC) and the greatest girth at the gluteus (GL). A total of five WHRs were calculated from these anatomical measurements. Partial correlation coefficients, controlling for age and BMI, indicated that the ABAB/GL, UMB/GL, ABAB and UMB have the greatest association with all of the blood lipid parameters examined (P < 0.05). However, after stratifying by BMI, partial correlations controlling for age indicated that these significant relationships are only present in the upper quartile of the BMI distribution, indicating that obesity is necessary for these relationships to exist. In addition, risk classification varied according to the WHR which was used. The results indicate that the ABAB/GL, UMB/GL, ABAB and UMB are similar for the prediction of blood lipid parameters. However, the ABAB/GL and ABAB may be the preferred methods because of the consistency in locating the necessary anatomical landmarks.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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