Fat distribution was assessed by a series of ten skinfold measurements in 7,717 persons voluntarily undergoing a multiphasic health screening examination. From this total, in 360 diabetic and 934 nondiabetic control subjects matched for race, sex, age, height, and weight, fat distribution patterns were compared by direct skinfold measurements, and by triceps ratios and subscapular ratios: thickness of each of the individual's skinfolds relative to his triceps or his subscapular skinfold respectively. Diabetic subjects, especially women, showed a significant shift toward centripetal distribution of fat. The data indicated that centripetal fat distribution is a masculine characteristic. It is suggested that in diabetes there is a disturbance of male/female hormonal balance, responsible for centripetal fat distribution in women, and for exaggeration of centripetal fat distribution in men. Furthermore, the data suggested that persons with diabetes have more total fat than their nondiabetic counterparts.

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