Association of visceral fat with coronary risk factors in a population-based sample of postmenopausal women

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 Jan;26(1):33-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0801842.


Objective: To investigate in a population-based random sample of postmenopausal women the adjusted association of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) with coronary risk factors.

Design: Cross-sectional population-based random sample study.

Subjects: Ninety-eight postmenopausal women (age 50-65 y).

Measurements: Visceral and subcutaneous fat areas by computer axial tomography, anthropometry, lipid profile, fasting glucose and insulin, diet, physical activity, smoking status and alcohol intake.

Results: Compared to women with low VAT, women with high VAT (>117.8 cm(2)) had a less favorable metabolic profile with significantly higher fasting glucose (120+/-50 vs 98+/-39), insulin (7.9+/-10 vs 5+/-8), triglycerides (172+/-69 vs 127+/-72), apolipoprotein B (119+/-24 vs 98+/-32) and significantly lower HDL-C (38+/-10 vs 46+/-14) values in the whole sample (n=98). A similar profile was found in women without diabetes and hypertension (n=39). In multiple regression models, VAT explained a portion of the variance of TG (6.2%) in the entire sample and of total cholesterol (12.4%), LDL-C (15.8%), triglycerides (16.3%), apolipoprotein B (11.6%), and fasting glucose (28.4%) in the group of non-diabetic or hypertensive women. Our VAT cut-off point of 117.8 cm(2) corresponded to a waist circumference of 84 cm.

Conclusion: Our results in a random population-based sample of postmenopausal women confirm the association of VAT with most coronary risk factors. These associations persisted after adjusting for diet, physical activity, smoking status and alcohol intake.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Anthropometry
  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Blood Glucose
  • Body Composition
  • Body Constitution
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Postmenopause
  • Risk Factors
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Smoking
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Women's Health


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides