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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997 Jul;21(7):587-93.

Predicting intra-abdominal fatness from anthropometric measures: the influence of stature.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill.



To investigate the influence of height on the relationships between the intra-abdominal fat and anthropometric measures.


Twenty healthy female volunteers aged 20-51 y from Aberdeen, and 71 men and 34 women aged 19-85 y from Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Intra-abdominal fat volumes by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in Aberdeen and cross-sectional areas at L4-L5 level by computerised tomography (CT) in Nijmegen, height, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist sagittal and transverse diameters, waist to hip ratio, and skinfolds.


In the MRI study the women with BMI 20-33 kg/m2, waist circumference 62-97 cm, height 148-172 cm, and intra-abdominal fat volume 0.07-2.66 kg, waist circumference gave the highest correlation of simple indices with intra-abdominal fat volume, explaining 77.8% of variance. Single cross-sectional MRI cuts predicted volume with r = 0.94-0.99. Height in various levels of index power was not related to waist circumference, waist diameters, BMI, or skinfolds and did not improve prediction of intra-abdominal fat volume or of cross-sectional intra-abdominal fat area at any level. The CT study of men and women with BMI 18-32 kg/m2 and 19-38 kg/m2, waist circumference 71-112 cm and 74-125 cm, height 158-197 cm and 151-182 cm, and intra-abdominal fat area 13-274 cm2 and 19-221 cm2 respectively, height also had little influence on the relationships of intra-abdominal fat area with waist circumference or with any other indices of adiposity in linear or quadratic models. Compared to younger subjects, intra-abdominal fat area was higher in older subjects for a given waist circumference.


Height does not importantly influence the differences in measures of adiposity or intra-abdominal fat volume in women, or intra-abdominal fat area in both sexes. Age does influence the prediction of intra-abdominal fat from waist circumference, but waist circumference alone has a predictable simple relationship with intra-abdominal fat volume or area, which is likely to relate to the prediction of health risk for health promotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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