Facial fat and its relationship to abdominal fat: a marker for insulin resistance?

Med Hypotheses. 2004;63(5):783-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2004.06.020.


Reports of relationships between measures of insulin sensitivity and measures of body fat and fat distribution suggest that abdominal fat accumulation is a predictor of insulin resistance. It has been previously suggested that facial fat (primarily in the cheeks and neck) is strongly associated with visceral abdominal fat accumulation. The facial fat is a rich vascular region, that seems to be metabolically active and resembles abdominal white adipose tissue. We, therefore, hypothesize that facial fat could be a good predictor of insulin resistance. Whether facial fat can be used as an accurate marker for insulin resistance remains to be determined.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / physiopathology*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiopathology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Body Constitution*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Susceptibility / diagnosis
  • Disease Susceptibility / physiopathology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Face / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Biomarkers