Relationship between fat distribution and cardiometabolic risk in Hispanic girls

Megan Hetherington-Rauth, Jennifer W. Bea, Vinson R. Lee, Robert M. Blew, Janet L. Funk, Timothy G. Lohman, Scott B. Going

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: In adults, certain body fat depots have greater impact on cardiometabolic risk than total adiposity. Whether similar relationships exist in children is uncertain. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships among dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measures of body fat distribution and total body adiposity with cardiometabolic risk factors in Hispanic girls. Methods: Measures of total percent body fat, percent of total fat within the android, gynoid, leg, and trunk regions, and cardiometabolic biomarkers (insulin, glucose, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), triglycerides (TG), low and high lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, HDL-C)) were obtained from 232 Hispanic girls (age 10.7 ±1.1 years). Regression models for each metabolic parameter were run against adiposity measures. Partial correlations of the adiposity measures were used to compare associations between adiposity measures and the cardiometabolic risk factors, controlling for somatic maturation. Results: Total and regional adiposity were significantly related with cardiometabolic risk factors (P < 0.05) except fasting glucose. The partial correlations of total and regional adiposity measures with each cardiometabolic biomarker were similar. More variance was explained for insulin and the HOMA-IR (33%-43%) than other risk factors. Partial correlations for the percentage of total fat in the gynoid and leg regions with insulin, HOMA-IR, TG, and LDL-C were negative, and positive with HDL-C. Conclusion: Measures of total and regional fat perform similarly in predicting cardiometabolic risk in Hispanic girls. A higher proportion of fat distributed in the gynoid or leg region is associated with lower cardiometabolic risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere23149
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics


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