Objective: To determine associations between overall adiposity, absolute and relative abdominal adiposity, and lipid concentrations in healthy older women.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline data.
Subjects: Subjects were 21 healthy, untrained older women (71 +/- 1 y) entering a randomized, controlled aerobic training program.
Measurements: Overall adiposity was assessed by anthropometry and the body mass index (BMI=kg/m2). Absolute and relative abdominal adiposity was determined by computed tomography (CT) and circumference measures. Fasting serum lipid concentrations of total-, high density lipoprotein (HDL)-, and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol (C) and triglycerides (TGs) were determined by standard enzymatic procedures.
Results: Compared to the measures of overall adiposity, we observed much stronger correlations between measures more specific to absolute or relative abdominal adiposity and lipid concentrations. Visceral fat area was the strongest correlate of HDL-C (r = -0.75; P < 0.001) and the total-/HDL-C ratio (r = 0.86; P < 0.001). The abdomen-to-hip circumference ratio (AHR) was strongly correlated with TGs (r = 0.54; P < 0.01), HDL-C (r= -0.69; P < 0.001), and the total-/HDL-C ratio (r = 0.75; P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Excess abdominal adiposity remains an important correlate of lipid metabolism, even in healthy older women of normal weight. Thus, overall obesity is not a necessary condition for the correlation between excess abdominal fat and metabolic risk among postmenopausal women.