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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jul;66(1):111-5.

Effects of age on body fat distribution and cardiovascular risk factors in women.

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


We conducted a cross-sectional study of body fat distribution and metabolic variables and the interrelations among these factors in 134 women aged 18-71.9 y. Body fat distribution was measured with use of computerized tomography. A significant positive correlation was observed between age and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and between VAT and body weight. When subjects were divided into five age groups, VAT values were significantly higher in older groups. Values for triacylglycerols, cholesterol, fasting glucose, 2-h glucose, and the sum of glucose values during an oral-glucose-tolerance test were significantly higher in older subjects. After adjustment for visceral fat, no significant differences in any metabolic variable studied, except cholesterol, were found across the five age groups. In conclusion, we found that regional body fat distribution in older women was different from that in younger subjects: older women had larger amounts o visceral fat. Values for metabolic variables were also higher in older subjects. Our data suggest that redistribution of body fat in older subjects is associated with changes in metabolic variables.

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