Relationship of regional adiposity to insulin resistance and serum triglyceride levels in nonobese Japanese type 2 diabetic patients

Metabolism. 2002 May;51(5):544-8. doi: 10.1053/meta.2002.31984.


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between insulin resistance and regional abdominal fat area, body mass index (BMI), and serum lipid profile in nonobese Japanese type 2 diabetic patients. A total of 63 nonobese Japanese type 2 diabetic patients aged 45 to 83 years were examined. The duration of diabetes was 8.4 +/- 0.8 years. BMI, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA(1c)) levels, and fasting concentrations of plasma glucose, serum lipids (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol, and triglycerides), and serum insulin were measured. The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level was calculated using the Friedewald formula (LDL cholesterol = total cholesterol - HDL cholesterol - 1/5 triglycerides). Insulin resistance was estimated by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR). Computed tomography (CT) was used to measure cross-sectional abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat areas in all the patients. Adipose tissue areas were determined at the umbilical level. Subcutaneous and visceral abdominal fat areas were 136.5 +/- 6.0 and 86.0 +/- 4.1 cm(2), respectively. Univariate regression analysis showed that insulin resistance was positively correlated with subcutaneous (r =.544, P <.001) and visceral (r =.408, P =.001) fat areas, BMI (r =.324, P =.009), HbA(1c) (r =.254, P =.001), serum triglycerides (r =.419, P <.001), and serum LDL cholesterol (r =.290, P =.019) levels and was negatively correlated with serum HDL cholesterol level (r =.254, P =.041). Multiple regression analyses showed that insulin resistance was independently predicted by the areas of subcutaneous (F = 6.76, P <.001) and visceral (F = 4.61, P <.001) abdominal fat and serum triglycerides (F = 8.88, P <.001) level, which explained 36.9% of the variability of insulin resistance. Moreover, the present study demonstrated that whereas BMI was positively correlated with visceral (r =.510, P <.001) and subcutaneous (r =.553, P <.001) fat areas, serum triglyceride level was positively associated with visceral (r =.302, P =.015), but not with subcutaneous (r =.222, P =.074) fat area. From these results, it can be suggested that (1) both subcutaneous and visceral abdominal fat areas are independently associated with insulin resistance and (2) visceral fat area, but not the subcutaneous one, is associated with serum triglyceride levels in our nonobese Japanese type 2 diabetic patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Triglycerides