Objective: To evaluate the relationship between supine sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) and other indicators of body fat distribution with cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors in the elderly.
Subjects: One-hundred and forty-six women aged from 67 to 78 y with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 18.7 to 50.6 kg/m2 and 83 men aged between 67 and 78 y with BMI ranging from 19.8 to 37.1 kg/m2.
Measurement: Body fat distribution was assessed using anthropometric indicators: waist circumference, SAD, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio and SAD-to-thigh ratio.
Results: In women, there was a negative correlation between HDL-cholesterol and body weight, BMI, waist, SAD, WHR, waist-to-height ratio and SAD-to-thigh ratio. A significant association was found between triglycerides, basal glucose, 2 h glucose during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and anthropometric variables. In men a negative correlation was found between HDL-cholesterol and all the anthropometric variables. A significant association was found between triglycerides, DBP and body weight, BMI, waist, SAD and waist-to-height ratio. In women, after adjusting for age and BMI, a significant correlation was observed between waist and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides and basal glucose. This was also seen with SAD and SAD-to-thigh ratio and triglycerides, basal and 2 h glucose. In men, after adjusting for age and BMI a significant correlation was found between SAD and HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. When adjustments were made for age and waist, the correlations between BMI and metabolic variables as well between BMI and SBP and DBP were no longer significant.
Conclusions: Our study shows that indicators of body fat distribution are associated with CVD risk factors in the elderly independently of BMI. Our data also show that waist and SAD are the anthropometric indicators of fat distribution which are most closely related to CVD risk factors in old age.