Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology
Online ISSN : 1882-868X
Print ISSN : 0368-9395
ISSN-L : 0368-9395
A Follow-up Study of Subcutaneous Fat Thickness and Medical Examination in a Rural Village
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1993 Volume 59 Issue 5 Pages 225-240


Obesity is the most prevalent, chronic condition in the Japanese population, and is directly or indirectly associated with a wide variety of diseases . Although the term "obesity" generally refers to an excess of body fat, it is difficult to determine the definition and classification of obesity. Therefore, we must rely upon only a few arbitrary standards . In order to resolve this health need, it is necessary to establish reasonable obesity indexes, which should be free from the aesthetic standard of "looking good". For this purpose, the authors studied ultrasonic measurement of the thickness of subcutaneous adiposal tissue layer, and conducted medical examinations of serum lipid twice, in 1988 and in 1990, in a rural population living in Hase, Kami-Ina, Nagano prefecture. The points of measurement were biceps, triceps, subscapular, suprailiac and thigh anterior. Using the obtained data, the relationships between the thickness of the subcutaneous adiposal tissue layer and data of medical examinations, including blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol, were clarified. The results obtained were as follow: 1. There were no consistent relationships found between thickness of subcutaneous fat layer and the results of each medical examination by year, sex and age in this follow-up study, although the authors reported positive correlation coefficients between them in a cross-sectional study, 1988. 2. In analyses using the multiple logistic model, there were positive, but weak, correlations between increase of fat thickness and Hata's Severity Grading of Hyperlipidemia, especially between the increase of fat thickness at both suprailiac and thigh anterior and increase of severity grade of TC, TG, and HDLC in males . Positive correlations were also found between the increase of fat thickness at both triceps and suprailiac and increase of the severity grade of TG. These results support the need to continue such follow-up studies. 3.In cross-sectional studies, such as etiological and/or health administrative studies, reproducibility and reliability in the relationship between medical examination and health-related phenomenon are difficult to obtain. For this reason, studies on etiology should be carefully conducted and followed up repeatedly.

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