Fat distribution, androgens, and metabolism in nonobese women

J C Seidell, M Cigolini, P. Deurenberg, A. Oosterlee, G Doornbos

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Eighty-five randomly selected women, all born in 1948, were studied. All were nonobese (body mass index [BMI], 23.3 +/- 0.3 (means +/- SD]). The relationships between three indicators of fat distribution (waist-hip, waist-thigh, and subscapular-triceps ratios) and hormonal and metabolic variables were studied. Increased androgenic activity (ratio of free testosterone [T] to total testosterone [free-total T ratio]) and degree of obesity (BMI) were independently related to increased waist-hip ratio. Waist-hip and waist-thigh ratios showed higher correlations with all metabolic variables than did the triceps-subscapular skinfold thickness ratio except for diastolic blood pressure. After adjustment for BMI and free-total T ratio, the waist-hip ratio was still significantly positively related to total cholesterol and C peptide and negatively to the HDL-total cholesterol ratio. In such multiple regression, BMI was independently related to insulin, C peptide, and diastolic blood pressure. The free-total T ratio was independently related to triglycerides. BMI and waist-hip ratio gave important complementary information about risk factors for diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-73
Number of pages5
JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1989


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Androgens
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Pressure
  • C-Peptide
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Obesity
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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