The relationship of body fat distribution to blood pressure in normotensive men: The normative aging study
Body fat distribution may be a more specific marker than obesity for risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The relationship between body fat distribution and sitting systolic and diastolic blood pressure was examined in a cross-sectional analysis of 1936 normotensive men aged 21 to 80 years. In this analysis body fat distribution was represented by the ratio of abdomen circumference to hip breadth (denoted as WHbR). Pearson product-moment correlations adjusted for age revealed a positive correlation between WHbR and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.13 and r = 0.14, respectively). In a multiple linear regression model controlling for age, smoking status and body mass index (BMI), WHbR was associated with systolic blood pressure [regression coefficient (standard error) = 3.58 (1.8), P = 0.048)], but had much less of an association with diastolic blood pressure [regression coefficient (standard error) = 1.90 (1.3), P = 0.141]. Further adjustment for alcohol intake decreased the association between WHbR and systolic blood pressure [regression coefficient (standard error) = 2.90 (1.81), P = 0.110]. Body fat distribution, as represented by WHbR was associated with level of systolic blood pressure independently of overall level of obesity (BMI) in normotensive men; adjustment for alcohol intake attenuated the relationship. These data suggest that dietary factors, notably alcohol intake, may influence the effect of body fat distribution on blood pressure.