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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1992 Feb;16(2):125-33.

Fat distribution and blood lipids in a sample of healthy elderly people.

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Department of Community Health, State University School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio.


The cross-sectional sample consisted of data for 41 white men and 63 white women, 67-92 years of age who were healthy volunteer participants in the Aging Process Study at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The variables consisted of anthropometric measures of body fatness, blood lipids and blood pressures. Correlations were computed between principal component scores, ratios of body circumferences, W/S2, blood lipid values and blood pressures for each sex. In the men, the significant correlations were of the abdomen/hip and abdomen/thigh ratios with W/S2, and the principal component scores with HDL cholesterol, triglyceride and systolic blood pressure. In the women, the abdomen/hip ratio had a low negative correlation with HDL cholesterol but a low positive correlation with triglyceride levels. The principal component scores also had low correlations with blood pressure and triglycerides. Multiple regressions were used to determine further associations between risk factors and fat distribution indices. In the men, the relationships of age and levels of body fatness with HDL cholesterol were much stronger and more complex than those with triglyceride or systolic blood pressure. In the women, only HDL cholesterol and triglyceride were associated with abdomen/hip ratio after removing the effects of overall fatness. The present findings indicate that a large abdominal circumference, implying a correspondingly large internal adipose tissue deposit, produces negative health alterations in blood lipid levels in this sample of elderly individuals. In younger adults, these changes are considered to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.

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