Because recent knowledge indicates that the distribution of fat deposits in men may be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease than the degree of obesity alone, some risk factors for atherosclerosis were evaluated in 51 middle-aged men with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Abdominal adiposity (waist/hip ratio, WHR) was related to parameters of metabolic control, lipid parameters, and known vascular complications in three different groups. In groups with abdominal obesity, mean annual hemoglobin A1 was significantly (P < .01) higher than in patients without an abdominal fat distribution. Atherogenic index was significantly increased in the group with the highest WHR and highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-chol) levels were significantly decreased in both groups with upper-body fat distribution. The frequency of peripheral vascular disease, coronary ischemic heart disease, and hypertension was most prominent in diabetic subjects with an abdominal fat mass distribution. A highly significant (P < .001) correlation was present between WHR and HDL-chol and WHR and the total-cholesterol/ HDL-chol ratio; this significant correlation remains after correction for body mass index. A similar correlation could be found between WHR and systolic and diastolic blood pressures. These results demonstrate an association of excess abdominal fat, even without manifest obesity, with worse diabetes metabolic control, cardiovascular complications, and blood lipid levels actually considered to play an important role in atherogenesis.

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