Upper body fat predicts metabolic syndrome similarly in men and women

Scott M Grundy, Corbin Williams, Gloria L Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors including dyslipidemia, dysglycemia, hypertension, a pro-inflammatory state, and a prothrombotic state. All of these factors are accentuated by obesity. However, obesity can be defined by body mass index (BMI), percent body fat, or by body fat distribution. The latter consists of upper body fat (subcutaneous and visceral fat) and lower body fat (gluteofemoral fat). Waist circumference is a common surrogate marker for upper body fat. Methods: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the years 1999-2006 was examined for associations of metabolic risk factors with percent body fat, waist circumference, and BMI. Results: Associations between absolute measures of waist circumference and risk factors were similiar for men and women. The similarities of associations between waist circumference and risk factors suggests that greater visceral fat in men does not accentuate the influence of upper body fat on risk factors. Conclusions: Different waist concumference values should not be used to define abdominal obesity in men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12941
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • body fat
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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