To the Editor. —
Shimokata et al1 observed that smoking increases the waist-hip ratio in men. In some crosssectional studies in Swedish men we observed similar associations.2,3Waist-hip ratio is presumed to be an indicator of accumulation of visceral (or intra-abdominal) adipose tissue.4 With computed tomography, the amount of visceral adipose tissue can be calculated from abdominal scans. We selected 23 men from a healthy population (N = 200) aged 25 to 50 years living in Gothenburg, Sweden. They were selected to cover a maximal range of waist-hip ratios and body mass indexes. Computed tomographic scans were taken at L4/L5 and adipose tissue areas were calculated at a range of — 30 to — 190 Hounsfield units. Table 2 shows that smokers had similar body mass indexes and no significantly different subcutaneous and total fat areas compared with men who never smoked. The visceral fat area, however, was almost
Seidell JC, Björntorp P, Sjöström L, Kvist H. Smoking Wastes a Good Parisienne. JAMA. 1989;262(9):1185–1186. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430090047022
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