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Nutr Diabetes. 2013 Mar 18;3:e64. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2013.5.

DXA estimates of fat in abdominal, trunk and hip regions varies by ethnicity in men.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine whether the quantity of fat is different across the central (that is, android, trunk) and peripheral (that is, arm, leg and gynoid) regions among young African-American (AA), Asian (AS), Hispanic (HI) and non-Hispanic White (NHW) men.


A cohort of 852 men (18-30 years; mean total body fat percent (TBF%)=18.8±7.9, range=3.7-45.4) were assessed for body composition in five body regions via dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).


HI men (21.8±8.3) had higher TBF% than AA (17.0±10.0), NHW (17.9±7.2) and AS (18.9±8.0) groups (P-values <0.0001). AS had a lower BMI (23.9±3.4) than all other groups, and NHW (24.7±3.2) had a lower BMI than HI (25.7±3.9) and AA (26.5±4.7; P-values<0.0001). A linear mixed model (LMM) revealed a significant ethnicity by region fat% interaction (P<0.0001). HI men had a greater fat% than NHW for every region (adjusted means (%); android: 29.6 vs 23.3; arm: 13.3 vs 10.6; gynoid: 27.2 vs 23.8; leg: 21.2 vs 18.3; trunk: 25.5 vs 20.6) and a greater fat% than AA for every region except the arm. In addition, in the android and trunk regions, HI had a greater fat% than AS, and AS had a higher fat% than AA. Finally, the android fat% for AS was higher than that of NHW. When comparing the region fat% within ethnicities, the android region was greater than the gynoid region for AS and HI, but did not differ for AA and NHW, and the arm region had the least fat% in all ethnicities.


Fat deposition and body fat patterning varies by ethnicity.

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