Subscapular and triceps skinfold thicknesses, body mass index and cardiovascular risk factors in a cohort of middle-aged employed men

Brian Birmingham, Alan R. Dyer, Richard B. Shekelle, Jeremiah Stamler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Associations of indices of adiposity with cardiovascular risk factors were examined in 1860 middle aged men employed by the Western Electric Company in Chicago in 1960 and 1961. Body mass index and subscapular and triceps skinfolds were examined for associations with systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and post-load serum glucose. Correlations of study variables measured one year apart suggest that triceps and subscapular skinfold measurements are less reproducible than body mass index, but more reproducible than measurements of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and serum cholesterol. Associations with blood pressure were stronger for body mass index than for skinfolds, and subscapular skinfold was associated with blood pressure independently of triceps skinfold, as well as age, heart rate, alcohol intake, and family history of cardiovascular disease. Body mass index was also generally more strongly related to serum cholesterol than skinfold measurements. Triceps skinfold was more strongly related to serum cholesterol than subscapular skinfold based on average values for the variables in 1960-1961, but subscapular skinfold was more strongly related to one-year change in serum cholesterol. Subscapular skinfold was as strongly related to serum glucose as body mass index. This association was also independent of triceps skinfold and other variables. These analyses demonstrate positive associations of subscapular skinfold, an index of central adiposity, with blood pressure and serum glucose levels. Associations of subscapular and triceps skinfolds with serum cholesterol levels were not consistent in the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses and require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-302
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1993

Keywords

  • Adiposity
  • Blood pressure
  • Body mass index
  • Serum cholesterol Serum glucose
  • Skinfolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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