Somatotype characteristics of male patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2012 Apr-Jun;54(2):40-5. doi: 10.2478/v10153-011-0087-5.


Introduction: Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder and as such it no doubt affects the components of somatotype of diabetics.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the somatotype of males with type 2 diabetes.

Patients and methods: In the study we assessed anthropometrically 169 male patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients were Bulgarian; they were allocated into two age groups: group 1 included 40-60-year-old patients and group 2--61-80-year olds. Healthy Bulgarian men without any history of metabolic, neoplastic, or other diseases were used as controls divided into age matched groups. Measurements obtained directly were height, body weight, biepicondylar breadth of humerus, biepicondylar breadth of femur, relaxed upper arm circumference, contracted upper arm circumference, forearm circumference, waist circumference, hip circumference, thigh circumference, calf circumference. Skin folds: subscapular, over rib 10, suprailiac, over abdomen, triceps, biceps, forearm, thigh, calf. Calculated parameters: Heath-Carter anthropometric somatotype components.

Results: Mean somatotype of 40-60-year-old male diabetics was endomorphic mesomorph (endo-mesomorph), (endo 5.03; meso 6.57; ecto 2.01). Mean somatotype 61-80-year-old diabetic males was endomorphic mesomorph (endo-mesomorph), (endo 4.14; meso 5.88; ecto 1.64). The between-age comparison showed the somatotype in both age groups of diabetic males to be endomorphic mesomorph. The mesomorphy was dominant, followed by endomorphy and ectomorphy was far behind. The differences in the ratings of the somatotype components were of high statistical significance (P < 0.001). The mesomorphy and endomorphy ratings in patients with type 2 diabetes aged 40-60 years were greater than those of patients aged 61-80 years with the difference reaching statistical significance (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Both age groups of male diabetics presented with endomorphic mesomorph somatotype. Mesomorphy was the highest, followed by endomorphy. Ectomorphy lagged substantially behind, leading to a shift in the somatoplot upward to mesomorphy and leftward to endomorphy. Unlike the findings of studies in foreign countries presenting markedly dominating endomorphy, in our study Bulgarian diabetic males presented with dominating mesomorphy. This can be regarded as a characteristic feature of Bulgarian diabetic patients. This could be accounted for by the role played by factors such as lifestyle, habits, environment, diet, methods of treatment, etc. The somatotype of Bulgarian diabetic males (endomorphic mesomorph) is more favourable with regard to the risk, course and prognosis of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Bulgaria
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Somatotypes*