Sexual dimorphism of age-related changes in whole-body fat distribution in the obese

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1994 Apr;18(4):207-2.


We performed a cross-sectional study using whole-body computerized tomographic (CT) scans in order to clarify age-related changes in whole-body fat distribution in both genders. The subjects were 66 men and 96 women, whose body mass index (BMI) was over 25 kg/m2. CT scans were performed at seven levels (head, fore-arms, upper arms, chest, abdomen, thighs and calves), and the fat volumes of the segments were calculated from the cross-sectional areas of the fat tissues. After calibrating to the total fat volumes, the relationship between age and the relative segmental fat volumes was analysed. In both genders, the relative intra-abdominal visceral fat volume increased and that of the legs decreased with age. The relative abdominal subcutaneous fat volume decreased with age only in male subjects. The increase in the relative visceral fat volume with age was about 2.6 times larger in males than in pre-menopausal females, while post-menopausal females showed the same increase as male subjects. These data suggest that there is a definite gender difference in the age-related changes in whole-body fat distribution, especially in the abdominal fat tissues. In addition, the accumulation of visceral fat is markedly accelerated by menopause in women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Body Composition*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Menopause
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Premenopause
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed