Correlates of body fat distribution. Variation across categories of race, sex, and body mass in the atherosclerosis risk in communities study

Bruce B. Duncan, L. E. Chambless, Maria Ines Schmidt, Moyses Szklo, Aaron R. Folsom, Myra A. Carpenter, John R. Crouse, Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study Investigators The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Though central adiposity is a strong, independent risk factor for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, relatively little is known about its determinants. To characterize the association of central adiposity with several of its possible determinants, while describing variability in these associations across sex, race, and level of body mass index, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of 15,800 white and African-American men and women ages 45 to 64 years participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities baseline survey, 1987 to 1989. After adjustment for other possible determinants, African Americans had markedly larger subscapular skinfold thicknesses and subscapular/triceps ratios than did whites, while whites had larger waist/hip ratios. Large, statistically significant variations in waist/hip ratio associations with age, percent of weight gained after age 25, smoking, and physical activity in the workplace existed across categories of sex, race, and body mass index. Based on our findings, we concluded that major variation exists in the waist/hip ratio and in its associations with its possible determinants across categories of race, sex, and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1995

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support was provided by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute con tracts NOl-HC-55015, NOl-HC-55016, NOl-HC-55018, NOI-HC-55019, NOI-HC-55020, NOl-HC-5502 1, andNOl-HC-55022, Dr. Duncan was supported by a fellowship from the Brazilian Ministry of Education (CAPES) and Dr. Schmidt, by a fellowship from the Brazilian Conselho National de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq). Staff members who contributed to this report are as follows: Catherine Paton, Jeannette Ben-son, Delilah Posey, Amy Haire, Bobbie J. Alliscon, RN, Faye A. Blackburn, Catherine W. Britt, and Barbara L. Davis at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Laurie Wormuth, Gina Tritle, Janet Jeremiason, and Nancy MacLennan at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Carol Christman, Sonny Harrell, Joel Hill, and Joan Nelling at TheJohns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Valerie Stinson, Pam Pfile, Hoang Pham, and Teri Trevino at University ofTexas Medical School, Houston; Karima Ghazzaly, Sandra Sanders, Charles E. Rhodes, and Doris Epps at The Merhodist Hospital, Houston; Regina delacy, Delilah Cook, Carolyn Bell, Teresa Crotts, and Suzanne Pillsbury at Bowman-Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem; and Witold Sieradzan, Louis Wijnberg, George Wtiliams, and Kiduk Yang at Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center. University of North Care- lina, Chapel Hill.


  • Obesity
  • exercise
  • fat distribution
  • population study
  • race
  • sex
  • smoking


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