Korean J Prev Med.  1991 Mar;24(1):57-69.

Body fat distribution and hypertension

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Keimyung University, Korea.


This study examined the cross-sectional association of body fat distribution with hypertension as well as the superiority of medical calf skinfold measured as peripheral fat distribution over the conventional triceps skinfold using 450 Korean Navy divers selected by authors' convenience in 1990. Their mean age was 27.9 and range of it was 19-51. The centrally located body fat was approximated by subscapular from these skinfold measures to reflect central versus peripheral fat distribution pattern: 2 ratios and 2 differences. After controlling age and overall obesity (body mass index), prevalence odds ratios of the 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 quartiles of subscapular skinfold comparing with lowest 1/4 quartile were 2.05 (95% confidence interval, CI 1.18-3.59), 2.02 (95% CI 1.06-3.86), 4.00 (95% CI 1.99-8.06) respectively. The difference of subscapular and medical calf skinfolds was associated with hypertension (odds ration 2.45, 95% CI 1.28-4.68 comparing highest with lowest quartiles). Triceps and medical calf skinfolds alone did not show any odds ratio not including unity. The adjusted odds ratios were generally reduced in small magnitude compared with crude odds ratios not adjusted for age and overall obesity. The medical calf skinfold appeared to be more representative of peripheral body fat distribution than triceps skinfold. These findings suggest that central fat distribution rather than peripheral distribution is associated with hypertension independent of age and overall level of obesity and medical calf skinfold may replace conventional triceps skinfold in predicting peripheral distribution of body fat.


Body fat distribution; Hypertension; Subscapylar and medial calf skinfolds

MeSH Terms

Adipose Tissue*
Body Fat Distribution*
Odds Ratio
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