Relationship between abdominal fat compartments and glucose and lipid metabolism in early postmenopausal women

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Feb;86(2):744-9. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.2.7260.


The relationships between abdominal and pelvic fat compartments and glucose and lipid metabolism were investigated in early postmenopausal women. Fifty-five healthy, postmenopausal women aged 52-53 yr participated in the study. Fat distribution (intra-abdominal and sc abdominal fat, and intrapelvic and sc pelvic fat) was estimated by computed tomography. Insulin sensitivity was assessed by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. In a multiple regression analysis, the size of the intra-abdominal fat compartment was the only significant predictor of insulin sensitivity (r(2) = 24%; P = 0.0002). Plasma triglycerides were closely related to the size of the intra-abdominal fat compartment (r(2) = 26%; P < 0.0001), whereas plasma free fatty acid concentrations only correlated to the size of the sc abdominal fat compartment (r(2) = 18.5%, P = 0.001). In early postmenopausal women the amount of the intra-abdominal fat strongly influences insulin sensitivity and plasma triglyceride levels, whereas plasma free fatty acids are closely related to the amount of the sc abdominal fat. Accordingly, from a metabolic standpoint it seems most essential to reduce intra-abdominal fat in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Leptin / blood
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Skin
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol