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Evidence For A Regional Component Of Body Fatness In The Association With Serum Lipids In Men And Women.

J. Després, C. Allard, A. Tremblay, J. Talbot, C. Bouchard
Published 1985 · Medicine

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Four hundred and seventy-two subjects (234 women and 238 men), 18 to 50 years of age, participated in percent body fat determination from underwater weighing, assessment of 6 subcutaneous skinfold thicknesses, and a 12-hour fast blood sampling for measurement of serum triglycerides (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), total cholesterol (CHOL), and HDL-C/CHOL ratio. Even though women were significantly fatter than men, they had lower TG, CHOL, and higher values of HDL-C/CHOL ratio. Correlational and variance analyses showed that body fatness seemed to be more closely associated with serum lipids in men than in women. Moreover, the relationship between each skinfold and serum lipids indicated that subscapular and abdominal fat depots are more closely associated with serum lipids than other fat depots in men. In women, correlations were lower and regional differences attenuated. Furthermore, the regional trend observed in men remained significant after correction for concomitant variables such as age, cigarette smoking, habitual energy intake and energy expenditure, maximal aerobic power, and alcohol consumption. However, no effect of increasing body fatness was noted on HDL-C levels in women. Results of this study suggest that measurement of subscapular and abdominal fat should be considered when interpreting the blood lipid profile, particularly in males. A higher percentage of fat must be present in women than in men to observe alterations in serum lipids.
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