Objective: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of age on the relationships between commonly used measures of adiposity [abdominal circumference (AC) and body mass index (BMI)] and serum lipids in men.
Methods: AC, height, weight, and a fasting serum lipid profile were measured in 194 male volunteers, aged 18 to 81 years, who were free of diabetes mellitus and had participated in one of several studies on metabolic cardiovascular risk factors in the authors' laboratory. Least squares linear regression and two-way analysis of variance were used to assess relationships between measures of adiposity and fasting serum lipid values in two age groups: 18 to 49 (n = 53) and 50 to 81 years (n = 141).
Results: Increasing AC correlated with serum triglycerides [r = 0.32 (younger) and 0.43 (older)], and was inversely associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -0.26 and -0.26). Regression lines for these relationships did not differ between age groups. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) increased with greater AC among younger subjects (r = 0.44), but not among men over 50 years (r = -0.01). The relationships between BMI and serum lipids generally paralleled those for AC, but were weaker than for AC in the younger group.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that an interaction exists between age and adiposity as determinants of LDL-C levels, and that AC is a simple, clinically useful tool for assessing risk for adiposity-related dyslipidemia in men.