Fat distribution and cardiovascular disease risk in African-American women.

Academic Article


  • We have previously shown that in Caucasian men and women fat in the trunk, and especially visceral fat, was related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk even after adjusting for fat in other depots. We also found that leg fat was negatively related to CVD. In order to determine if these relationships also exist in African-American women, blood lipids, insulin, and blood pressure in 26 pre-menopausal African-American women were evaluated. In addition, magnetic resonance imaging measured fat distribution was evaluated from the lateral malleolus to top of the shoulder. Percent fat was related to VLDL cholesterol, VLDL3 cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and diastolic blood pressure. Inclusion of visceral and trunk fat together in multiple regression did little to improve the relationship with CVD risk. Leg fat, however, tended to be negatively related to CVD risk after adjusting for trunk fat and visceral fat. Partial correlations indicated that leg fat was negatively related to VLDL cholesterol (r = -0.36), triglycerides (r = -0.36), insulin (r = -0.46), and diastolic blood pressure (r = -0.43). These results indicate that in African-American women, visceral fat may be less atherogenic than in Caucasian men and women since it was poorly related to CVD risk after adjusting for fat in the trunk. In addition, consistent with results from Caucasians, leg fat is inversely related to CVD risk after adjusting for fat in other parts of the body. Caution must be made in the interpretation of correlational data. Further research is warranted to explore these intriguing relationships.
  • Authors


  • Adipose Tissue, Adult, African Continental Ancestry Group, Blood Pressure, Body Composition, Body Constitution, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cholesterol, VLDL, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Insulin, Leg, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Middle Aged, Obesity, Risk Factors, Triglycerides, Viscera, Women
  • Pubmed Id

  • 2771327
  • Author List

  • Hunter GR; Giger JN; Weaver M; Strickland OL; Zuckerman P; Taylor H
  • Start Page

  • 7
  • End Page

  • 11
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 2