Fatness, fitness, and cardiometabolic risk factors in middle-aged white men

Gary O'Donovan, Edward Kearney, Roy Sherwood, Melvyn Hillsdon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The objective was to test the hypothesis that traditional and novel cardiometabolic risk factors would be significantly different in groups of men of different fatness and fitness. Total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, leptin, adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, fibrinogen, and insulin resistance were assessed in 183 nonsmoking white men aged 35 to 53 years, including 62 who were slim and fit (waist girth ≤90 cm and maximal oxygen consumption [VO 2max] above average), 24 who were slim and unfit (waist girth ≤90 cm and VO 2max average or below), 39 who were fat and fit (waist girth 100 cm and VO 2max above average), and 19 who were fat and unfit (waist girth 100 cm and VO 2max average or below). Seventy-six percent gave blood on 2 occasions, and the average of 1 or 2 blood tests was used in statistical tests. Waist girth (centimeters) and fitness (milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of fat-free mass) were associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, leptin, and insulin resistance after adjustment for age, saturated fat intake, and total energy intake. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, alanine aminotransferase, and insulin resistance were significantly different in men who were fat and fit and those who were fat and unfit. These data suggest that differences in lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, liver function, and insulin resistance may explain why the risks of chronic disease are lower in men who are fat and fit than those who are fat and unfit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


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