Racial differences in the association between body fat distribution and lipid profiles among reproductive-age women

Diabetes Metab. 2010 Sep;36(4):278-85. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2010.01.010. Epub 2010 Apr 20.


Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the racial and ethnic differences in the relationship between body fat distribution variables and serum lipid profiles.

Methods: Secondary data analyses were conducted on 708 healthy women (204 blacks, 247 whites and 257 Hispanics), aged 16-33 years, seen in an outpatients clinic for contraception. Pearson correlation and multivariable linear regression techniques were used to identify racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between lipid profiles and body fat after adjusting for lean mass as well as demographic and lifestyle variables.

Results: All body fat distribution variables were significantly associated with total cholesterol (TC) (r=0.14 to 0.26), triglycerides (TG) (r=0.13 to 0.46), HDL cholesterol (r=-0.13 to -0.34), cholesterol-to-HDL ratio (r=0.20 to 0.50) and atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) (r=0.16 to 0.49). Significant racial/ethnic differences were observed in many associations. After adjusting for lean mass, and other demographic and lifestyle factors, the study showed that black women demonstrated significantly weaker associations than their white and Hispanic counterparts using multivariable linear regression procedures.

Conclusion: The relationship between lipid profiles and body fat distribution variables varies by race/ethnicity in reproductive-age women. A better understanding of these racial/ethnic differences has important implications for clinical and public-health efforts in targeting the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Body Fat Distribution*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides