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Endokrynol Pol. 2012;63(6):447-55.

Evaluation of the prevalence of metabolic obesity and normal weight among the Polish population.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology, and Isotope Therapy, Medical University of Wroclaw, 50-367 Wrocław, Poland.



In the 1980s, the idea evolved that some individuals with normal weight (Metabolically Obese, Normal-Weight), who probably have increased abdominal fat, have metabolic disturbances related to obesity. This observation initiated the concept of the metabolically obese but normal-weight syndrome (MONW). Since then, there have been only a few studies in non-obese subjects. MONW men and women should be regarded as at high risk for cardiovascular disease.


A group of 854 randomly chosen non-obese men and women, 20-40 years of age, was selected from three different areas of Poland - Szczecin, Krakow and Wroclaw. All subjects were interviewed and underwent physical examination, anthropometric measurements (waist circumference, hip circumference, BMI and WHR) as well as densitometry (total body DPX, total fat, android/gynoid deposit). Serum level of fasting glucose and insulin, indices of insulin sensibility (QUICKI) and insulin resistance (HOMA, FIRI), total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL-C were measured using commercially available kits. LDL-C level was calculated using Friedewald's formula.


The total amassed fatty tissue and its android deposit was found to be significantly greater in MONW men and women. MONW women were found to exhibit increased levels of triglycerides and LDL-C but lower levels of HDL-C. In women with excess abdominal fat (EAF), fasting glucose and insulin levels, HOMA and FIRI were considerably higher, while QUICKI was lower. Triglyceride and LDL-C levels were also higher while HDL-C levels were lower. In men with EAF, increased levels of total cholesterol and LDL-C were confirmed.


The occurrence of MONW is contingent upon the diagnosis criterion and increases when the criterion represents the value of HOMA - 21.76% in women and 31.42% in men. The frequency of MONW occurrence is lower when the criterion for abdominal fat content limit is used, amounting to 15.78% in women and 7.83% in men.

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