Body fat, glucose tolerance and diabetes incidence in non-diabetic elderly men

In 1970, the Dutch cohort of middle-aged men received a fasting oral glucose tolerance test with a glucose load of 50 grams and blood taken after 30, 60 and 120 min. The cross-sectional analysis showed that the subscapular skinfold thickness was independently related to fasting, 60 and 120 min glucose levels and to the area under the glucose curve but not significantly related to triceps skinfold and Body mass index (BMI). The 5-year follow-up of elderly men in the Finnish cohorts showed that BMI is an important predictor of abnormal glucose tolerance. The subscapular skinfold was prospectively related to 25-year diabetes incidence in the Dutch cohort.

Conclusions

In individuals, subscapular skinfold thickness was a “better” indicator of body fatness than triceps skinfold and BMI. Independent positive associations for individuals in the Dutch cohort were observed of subscapular skinfold with 60 and 120 min glucose level and with the area under the curve. Glucose uptake by the tissues in the postprandial state was related to body fat. BMI was a predictor of abnormal glucose tolerance and subscapular skinfold with diabetes incidence.

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