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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Aug;89(2):636-43.

Racial differences in visceral adipose tissue but not anthropometric markers of health-related variables.

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Human Performance Laboratory, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida 33124-2040, USA.


This study sought to determine whether visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and/or its anthropometric surrogates could significantly predict health-related variables (HRV) in overweight Caucasian (CC) (n = 36) and African-American (AA) (n = 30) women. With the use of magnetic resonance imaging, findings showed significantly higher volume and area of VAT (P < 0.0001 for both) as well as higher triacylglycerol (P = 0.009) in CC compared with AA women. Furthermore, VAT volume, race, and VAT volume x race interaction could significantly predict triacylglycerol (P = 0.0094), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.0057), insulin (P = 0.0002), and insulin resistance (P < 0. 0001). Additionally, the VAT volume x race interaction for insulin (P = 0.040) and insulin resistance (P = 0.003) was significant. In a separate analysis, waist circumference and race predicted the identical variables. Our results support the use of volume or area of VAT in predicting HRV in CC women; however, its use in AA women appears limited. In contrast, waist circumference can provide a suitable VAT alternative for both CC and AA women; however, VAT clearly represents the more powerful predictor.

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