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Coll Antropol. 2007 Sep;31(3):733-7.

Somatotype in elderly type 2 diabetes patients.

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Department of Experimental Biology, Anthropology Section, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.


Somatotyping is a practical technique for the description of physique. Individuals with Type 2 diabetes are characterized by physical peculiarities, such as overweight, obesity and a central pattern of body fat distribution. Somatotype applications to diabetes are limited. The objective of this study is to describe the somatotype of elderly type 2 diabetes patients. The sample consisted of 110 patients with type 2 diabetes (45 men, mean age 69.4 +/- 7.0 years; 65 women, mean age 72.9 +/- 7.1 years). The pathological subjects were compared with a control group consisting of 280 healthy individuals (134 men, mean age 74.2 +/- 7.3 years; 146 women, mean age 74.9 +/- 7.4 years). The Heath-Carter somatotype was applied. Diabetic men and women (mean somatotype, respectively: 6.8-5.6-0.6 and 8.6-6.4-0.2) presented significantly higher values of endomorphy than the controls (p = 0.043 in men, p = 0.003 in women); men also had a lower mesomorphic component (p = 0.000). The somatotype method revealed physical peculiarities in type 2 diabetes patients. The marked endomorphy in the pathological individuals can be related to general fatness, which is a well known disease risk factor. The somatotype appears to be a suitable technique for the assessment of physique in type 2 diabetes patients.

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