The Relationship of Upper Body Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Mildly-Obese Premenopausal Women

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The purpose of this study was to profile waist-to-hip ratios and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in mildly-obese younger American women. Sixty sedentary, nonsmoking, premenopausal, healthy women 21 to 51 years of age participated in the study. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2), percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratios, and lipid profiles were determined. Subjects were then grouped according to waist-to-hip ratio for statistical analyses, wherein android had waist-to-hip ratios of >m 0.8 (n = 19) and gynoid < 0.8 (n = 41), respectively. The groups were not different with respect to age, peak VO2, and body mass. Gynoid had lower blood pressure at rest and during maximal exercise compared to android. Additionally, gynoid had lower percentage body fat, smaller subscapular and suprailiac skinfold measurements, and waist circumference than android. Android had higher total cholesterol, LDL-C, triglycerides, apoprotein B, and insulin compared to gynoid. HDL-C was not different between the groups. Significant correlations of low-to-moderate magnitude were observed between % fat and blood pressure, and between waist-to-hip ratio and cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, apoprotein B, and insulin. Subscapular skinfolds were related to blood pressure and cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, and apoprotein B. A positive relationship existed between insulin and blood pressure and triglycerides while a negative relationship existed between HDL-cholesterol and blood pressure. These data suggest that centralized obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing CVD as evidenced by higher blood pressure, less desirable lipid profiles, and higher serum insulin.

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