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Metabolism. 1996 May;45(5):634-44.

Computed tomography-determined body composition in relation to cardiovascular risk factors in Indian and matched Swedish males.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Hospital, University of Goteborg, Sweden.


Relationships between cardiovascular risk factors, body composition, and tissue distributions were examined in 10 Indian and 10 Swedish males matched by age, height, and weight. The body was divided into 29 compartments by means of a multiscan computed tomography (CT) technique. Fasting glucose, insulin, and triglycerides (TG) were higher in Indians than in Swedes. During the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), the glucose area was similar in both groups, whereas the insulin area was 80% larger in Indians. Adipose tissue (AT) and skin volumes were larger and remaining lean tissues were smaller in Indians. Indians had proportionally less muscle and more skeleton in the legs, but no ethnic difference could be demonstrated with respect to AT distribution. The visceral AT to total AT volume ratio was positively related to insulin and TG, and with higher risk factors for Indians at any given ratio. TG and glucose were negatively related to the leg muscle to total muscle volume ratio, and this ratio was smaller in Indians. It is concluded that the metabolic disturbances of Indians are not necessarily dependent on a preponderance of visceral AT, and also that an upper-body muscle distribution-recognized as a new phenotypic companion to the metabolic syndrome-is statistically related to cardiovascular risk factors.

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