Sex differences in the relationships of abdominal fat to cardiovascular disease risk among normal-weight white subjects

S. Tanaka, K. Togashi, T. Rankinen, L. Pérusse, A. S. Leon, D. C. Rao, J. S. Skinner, J. H. Wilmore, J. P. Després, C. Bouchard

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30 Scopus citations


The objectives of this study are to investigate the relationships between abdominal fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among normal-weight (NW) white subjects and to determine how these relationships differ by sex. NW adults (177 males and 258 females) and overweight adults (133 males and 111 females) from the Québec Family Study and the HERITAGE Family Study were retained for this study. Risk factors included systolic and diastolic blood pressures, low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterols, triglycerides, and fasting glucose. Only in NW female adults, abdominal visceral fat (AVF) area assessed by computed tomography was significantly correlated with all risk factors, except for fasting glucose, even after age, study cohort, and fat mass were taken into account. NW female subjects with at least one risk factor had a significantly higher AVF than those without risk factors, although the difference was small. Thus, only NW female adults with more AVF tended to have a more adverse CVD risk factor profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-323
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Medical Research Council of Canada (PG-11811 and MT-13960) and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (HL45670 (C Bouchard, PI), HL47323 (AS Leon), HL47317 (DC Rao), HL47327 (JS Skinner), and HL47321 (JH Wilmore). The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Drs J Bergeron, and A Nadeau, and their staff at the Laval University Medical Center (CHUL) for the lipid and glucose assays, Dr J Volaufova for her advice on statistical methods, and N Laidlaw for her assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. C Bouchard is partially funded by the George A Bray Chair in Nutrition.


  • Abdominal subcutaneous fat
  • Abdominal visceral fat
  • Cardiovascular disease risk factor
  • Normal-weight
  • Sex differences


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