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J Gerontol. 1993 Nov;48(6):M249-54.

Body mass index and fat patterning as correlates of lipids and hypertension in an elderly, biracial population.

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Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Systems Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.



Associations between anthropometric measurements of fat patterning and risk factors for cardiovascular disease have been demonstrated in several populations composed predominantly of White, young or middle-aged adults. Fat pattern changes with aging and older adults tend to have a more central or abdominal fat distribution. Few investigators have focused on relationships of fat patterning with plasma lipids or blood pressure in older adults or in Blacks.


Body mass index (BMI), fat patterning, plasma lipids, and blood pressure were examined in participants of the Charleston Heart Study. Subjects included 216 White men, 95 Black men, 320 White women, and 155 Black women with a mean age of 72.7 years (range 61-106).


In each of the four race and gender groups, BMI was inversely correlated with HDL cholesterol and positively correlated with hypertension. BMI tended to be positively associated with total cholesterol, although the relationships were not statistically significant. After controlling for the effects of BMI, age, smoking, and alcohol intake (using regression analysis), waist to hip ratio was associated with cholesterol levels in the White men and women and the Black men. In similar models, waist circumference in Black women was inversely associated with HDL. There were no significant relationships between waist to hip ratio and hypertension in any of the groups after controlling for BMI.


In an elderly cohort, waist to hip ratio was associated with plasma lipids, but not with hypertension, when the effects of BMI were held constant.

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