Relationship of body fat topography to insulin sensitivity and metabolic profiles in premenopausal women

Metabolism. 1984 Jan;33(1):68-75. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(84)90164-1.


The relationship of body fat distribution to metabolic profiles was determined in 80 healthy premenopausal white women of a wide range of obesity levels [percentage of ideal body weight (% IBW) 92-251]. Distribution of fat between the upper and lower body was assessed from the waist/hips girth ratio (WHR), which varied from 0.64 to 1.02. In 23 women, in vivo insulin sensitivity was also determined from the steady-state plasma glucose (SSPG) level at comparable insulin levels of approximately 100 microU/mL attained by the intravenous infusion of somatostatin, glucose, and insulin. Increasing WHR was accompanied by progressively increasing fasting plasma insulin levels (r = 0.47, P less than 0.001), insulin and glucose areas after glucose challenge (r = 0.53, P less than 0.001; r = 0.50, P less than 0.001, respectively) and fasting plasma triglyceride concentrations (r = 0.48, P less than 0.001). Obesity level was similarly correlated with these metabolic indices. Partial and multiple regression analysis and analysis of variance with a linear contrast model revealed that the effects of body fat topography were independent of, and additive to, those of obesity level. Within obese subjects alone (%IBW: 130), %IBW had no predictive value, but WHR remained a significant predictor of plasma glucose, insulin, and triglyceride concentrations. The WHR also correlated with the plasma cholesterol level, but this association was largely dependent on its relationship to %IBW. Both WHR and %IBW correlated with the insulin resistance index, SSPG (r = 0.60, P less than 0.01; r = 0.61, P less than 0.01, respectively).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / physiology*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol