According to investigators from the Department of Human Services at the University of Virginia, in persons over 60 years of age, elevated levels of abdominal visceral fat are associated with unfavourable plasma concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins. Abdominal fat was also found to be a primary determinant in the release of growth hormone in these individuals. The investigators assessed plasma lipids and lipoproteins and their relationships to abdominal visceral fat, fat mass, growth hormone release, fitness and also insulin and glucose concentrations in 19 women and 31 men over the age of 60. The subjects were divided into groups based on high or low abdominal visceral fat, fat mass and abdominal visceral fat corrected for fat mass.
The researchers found that there were differences in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), triglycerides (TG), VLDL-TG, apo-B, apo-B LDL and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and HDL(2) among the two groups. They also found that women had higher cholesterol, LDL, HDL and HDL(2). Fasting insulin was related to lipids and lipoproteins in both women and men and growth hormone and fitness were both related to lipoprotein and cholesterol levels with some specific differences observed between genders.