Objective: To determine the relationship between body composition/fat distribution and parity after adjusting for potential confounders: age, smoking, and physical activity. Design: Cross-sectional. Subjects: A total of 170 Caucasian women between the ages of 18 and 76 years, who were non-smokers with no cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic, or endocrine disorders. Measurements: Physical activity assessment (Baecke Physical Activity Questionnaire), anthropometric measures, and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, computed tomography). Results: Although percent body fat was related to parity (r=0.26, P<0.01), after adjusting for age, physical activity index, and smoking, the parity-percent body fat relationship was no longer significant. Multiple regression analysis for modeling intra-abdominal adipose tissue demonstrated that parity and intra-abdominal adipose tissue were significantly related after adjusting for percent body fat, physical activity index, and smoking (partial r=0.18, P<0.02, unstandardized β=5.22±2.26, intercept=-37.32±24.63). Conclusion: Our data suggest that intra-abdominal adipose tissue increases with increasing parity, even after adjusting for potential confounders: age, percent body fat, physical activity, and smoking. © 2006 Nature Publishing Group All rights reserved.