Background: the relationship between sexual differences of body fat distribution and cardiovascular dysmetabolic factors in old people is controversial. Objectives: to use centrality index-derived body fat distribution to clarify its relationship with glucose tolerance status, blood pressure and lipid profile. Design: cross-sectional survey in a tertiary-care medical centre in Tainan, Taiwan. Subjects: 114 men and 101 women, aged ≥ 60 years. Methods: we measured total % body fat and body fat distribution (reflected as centrality index) by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and plasma glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin, blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and atherogenic index (total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol). Results: centrality index showed better linear correlation with cardiovascular dysmetabolic factors than body mass index, total % body fat and waist-to-hip ratio, except in systolic blood pressure. Women had higher total % body fat, but the % abdominal fat and centrality index were both higher in men. Subjects with diabetes mellitus had the highest centrality index compared with those with impaired or normal glucose tolerance. After adjustment for age and total % body fat, men still had higher diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride levels and atherogenic indices, but lower HDL cholesterol levels than women. However, when further adjusted for centrality index, the sex differences in cardiovascular dysmetabolic factors were statistically insignificant. Conclusions: centrality index is a useful method for assessing body fat distribution in older people. Body fat distribution is an important factor in sex differences of cardiovascular dysmetabolic factors in old people.
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