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Upper trunk fat assessment and its relationship with metabolic and biochemical variables and body fat in polycystic ovary syndrome

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Abstract Background: 

Fat accumulation in the upper region of the body is common in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and is associated with metabolic complications. The present study aimed to assess the relationship between trunk circumference, metabolic indicators, and abdominal and visceral fat in obese PCOS women. Methods: 

The weight, fat mass, and subcutaneous arm fat (SAF) of 30 obese PCOS women and 15 healthy controls matched for age and body mass index were evaluated by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Trunk (TrC), neck (NC) and hip circumferences were measured, and the trunk/hip (Tr/H) ratio was determined. Total abdominal fat (TAF), visceral fat (VF) and trunk fat (TrF) were determined by computed tomography. Biochemical evaluation included glycaemia, insulinaemia, testosterone and lipid profile, insulin resistance (IR) was assessed by the QUICKI index. Results: 

In the PCOS group, there were positive correlations between NC and TAF (r = 0.49, P < 0.0006), TrC and VF (r = 0.62, P = 0.01), and NC and VF (r = 0.70, P < 0.0002). There was good correlation between TrC and TrF (r = 0.69, P = 0.003). TrF correlated with triglycerides levels positively (r = 0.44, P = 0.02). Women with PCOS and IR had a larger quantity of VF and TrF, but a smaller amount of SAF. Within the PCOS group, women with Tr/H ratio above the median had higher basal insulin levels and lower QUICKI indices compared to women presenting a Tr/H ratio below the median. Conclusions: 

TrC is associated with important metabolic variables in PCOS, proving to be a valuable and innovative tool for assessment of body adiposity distribution in obese PCOS women.

Keywords: body fat; insulin resistance; polycystic ovary syndrome; upper body adiposity; upper trunk fat; visceral fat

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2011

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