Visceral fat accumulation in men is positively associated with insulin, glucose, and C-peptide levels, but negatively with testosterone levels

Metabolism. 1990 Sep;39(9):897-901. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(90)90297-p.


Twenty-three healthy men (age 25 to 50 years), covering a wide range of fatness and body fat distribution, were studied. An oral glucose tolerance test was performed and adipose tissue areas were calculated from computed tomography (CT) scans made at the level of L4/L5. Visceral fat area was associated with elevated concentrations of insulin and C-peptide and with glucose intolerance before and after the oral glucose load. Concentrations of sex-hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), as well as total and free testosterone, were negatively correlated with waist/hip circumference ratio and visceral fat area and also negatively associated with increased glucose, insulin, and C-peptide concentrations. In multiple linear regression, adjusting for age, body mass index, and visceral fat area, serum concentrations of free testosterone were still negatively correlated with glucose, insulin, and C-peptide levels. Without claiming any causality in the observed associations, we conclude that, unlike in women, abdominal fat distribution, insulin, glucose, and C-peptide levels are negatively associated with serum testosterone levels in men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Adipose Tissue / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • C-Peptide / blood*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin
  • Testosterone