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Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 May;53(5):1312-7.

Greater influence of central distribution of adipose tissue on incidence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes in women than men.

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Department of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284-7873.


Many studies have shown an increased prevalence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) in individuals with an unfavorable body fat distribution, but there are still relatively few prospective studies on this topic. We present data on the 8-y incidence of NIDDM in Mexican-American men and women according to their degree of central adiposity, measured by the ratio of subscapular to triceps skinfold thicknesses. Subjects were initially enrolled in the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study of diabetes in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites. Sixteen of 254 initially nondiabetic men and 27 of 366 initially nondiabetic women developed diabetes. Central adiposity was more strongly associated with diabetes incidence in women than in men. After adjustment for overall adiposity (measured by body mass index), women in the highest and in the middle tertile of centrality had a significantly higher risk of diabetes than did women in the lowest tertile [odds ratio (OR) = 10.70, P = 0.008, highest vs lowest tertile, and OR = 8.55, P = 0.032, middle vs lowest tertile; for men OR = 3.70 and OR = 1.38, respectively].

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