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Atherosclerosis. 1992 Jun;94(2-3):171-81.

Visceral fat accumulation measured by magnetic resonance imaging in relation to serum lipids in obese men and women.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands.


In 91 apparently healthy obese subjects (45 premenopausal women and 46 men) the associations between specific fat depots and serum lipids were studied. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to quantify fat depots at abdominal and hip level. In women, an accumulation of visceral fat was associated with a less favourable lipid profile, even after adjustment for age and body fat percentage: higher triglycerides levels (P less than 0.001), lower levels of HDL-cholesterol (P less than 0.01) and a diminished HDL-cholesterol/LDL-cholesterol ratio (P less than 0.01). In men, however, the significant inverse relationship between an abundance of visceral fat and the HDL-cholesterol/LDL-cholesterol ratio and the significant positive correlations with total-, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides disappeared after adjustment for age and fat percentage. Within each sex, subcutaneous fat neither at abdominal level nor at hip level was significantly related to serum lipids. It is concluded that there are gender differences in the associations between visceral fat accumulation and serum lipids.

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