Upper body subcutaneous adipose as a potential predictor for type 2 diabetes mellitus

Main Article Content

Andjelka Scepanovic
Slavica Vujovic, proffessor
Darko Medin, PhD


Keywords: type 2 diabetes mellitus, subcutaneous fatty tissue, biceps, triceps, abdominal, subscapular


Background/Aim: Upper body skinfold measurements show association with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). Precise predictive potential of the various points of the subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness in the upper body is not completely defined. The aim of this study was to examine the predictive potential of 4 subcutaneous fatty tissue spots (i.e., biceps, triceps, abdominal and subcapsular) regarding DM2 subjects diagnosed with disease before 60 years of age. Methods: Subcutaneous fatty tissue points were measured by a caliper in 108 subjects with DM2 who were diagnosed with the disease before the 60 years of age and compared with the same points of subcutaneous adipose tissue thickness of 112 control group subjects. Results: Skinfold measurments parameters were higher in DM2 subjects compared to controls (p <0,05). Female subjects with DM2 had significantly higher skinfold measurements (19,85±0,99 mm compared to 14,90 ± 0,61 mm, p <0,001 for Biceps and 29,09 ± 1,20 mm compared to  controls, 22,00 ± 1,00 mm for Triceps).  Abdominal and subscapular  SAT measurements were higher in  female DM2 group compared to controls  34,53 ± 0,99 mm compared to 27,72 ±1,08 mm and 33,53 ± 1,07 mm compared to 26,00 ± 1,18 mm with p <0,001, respectively, while no significant difference was found in male subjects (p >0,05). Upper body skinfold measurement  values were found to be predictors for DM2 and they  more significant in female subjects with OR values of 1,139 for biceps, 1,091 for triceps, 1,099 for abdominal  and 1,088 for subscapular spot, while they were found to be less significant in male subjects (p >0,05). Body mass index and waist circumference were also shown to be significant predictors for DM2 in female subjects (p <0,05). Conclusion: Subcutaneous fatty tissue of the upper body has a great predictive potential when it comes to DM2, especially in women

Abstract 334 | PDF Downloads 113



1. World Health Organization. Global report on diabetes. 2016.
2. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edn. Brussels, Belgium. International Diabetes Federation, 2017.
3. Kaiser AB, Zhang N, Van der Plujim W. Global Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes over the Next Ten Years (2018-2028). Diabetes. 2018; 67 (1) 202-LB.
4. Maitra A, Abbas AK. Endocrine system. In: Kumar, V. & Fausto, N. & Abbas AK (eds). Robbins and Cotran Pathologic basis of disease. (7th ed) Philadelphia, Saunders, 2005; 1156-1226.
5. Sarr O, Strohm R.J, MacDonald T.L, Gaudio N, Reed J.K, Foute-Nelong J, Dyck D.J, Mutch D.M. Subcutaneous and Visceral Adipose Tissue Secretions from Extremely Obese Men and Women both Acutely Suppress Muscle Insulin Signaling. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017; 18(5): 959.
6. Azuma K, Heilbronn LK, Albu J, Smith S, Ravussin E, Kelley D. Look AHEAD Adipose Research Group. Adipose tissue distribution in relation to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007; 293(1):435-42.
7. Misra A, Anoop S, Gulati S, Mani K, Bhatt SP, Pandey RM. Body Fat Patterning, Hepatic Fat and Pancreatic Volume of Non-Obese Asian Indians with Type 2 Diabetes in North India: A Case-Control Study. PLoS One. 2015; 10(10):e0140447.
8. Chandra Selvi E, Pavithra N, Saikumar P. Skin Fold Thickness in Diabetes Mellitus: A Simple Anthropometric Measurement May Bare the Different Aspects of Adipose Tissue. IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences. 2016; 15(11): 07-11.
9. Devulapally Y, Negi DS,Pasula KB. Comparative study of anthropometric parameters in diabetic and non-diabetic human beings. Natl J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol. 2017; 7(9):983-9.
10. McLaughlin T, Lamendola C, Coghlan N. Subcutaneous adipose cell size and distribution: Relationship to insulin resistance and body fat. Obesity. 2014; 22:673–680.
11. Henninger AM, Eliasson B, Jenndahl LE, Hammarstedt A. Adipocyte hypertrophy, inflammation and fibrosis characterize subcutaneous adipose tissue of healthy, non-obese subjects predisposed to type 2 diabetes. PLos One. 2014; 9(8): e105260.
12. American Diabetes Association (ADA). Erratum. Classification and diagnosis of diabetes. Sec 2. In standards of medical care in diabetes‑2016. Diabetes care. 2016; 39 (1):S13‑S22. Diabetes Care. 2016; 39:1653.
13. Goodpaster H.B, Thaete F.l, Kelley E.D. Thigh adipose tissue distribution is associated with insulin resistance in obesity and in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am. Jour.of Clin. Nutr. 2000; 71(4):885-892.
14. Klisic A, Kavaric N, Jovanovic M, et al. Association between unfavorable lipid profile and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Res Med Sci. 2017;22:122.
15. Jensen M. Is visceral fat involved in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome? Human model.Obesity.2006;14(1):20S–24S.
16. Despres J.P, Lemieux I. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome. Nature. 2006; 444: 881-887.
17. Oda E. Metabolic syndrome: its history, mechanisms, and limitations. Acta Diabetologica. 2012; 49(2): 89-95.
18. Livingston E.H. Lower body subcutaneous fat accumulation and diabetes mellitus risk. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. 2006; 2 (3): 362-368.
19. Koster A, Shaap L. The Effect of Type 2 Diabetes on Body Composition of Older Adults. Clin Geriatr Med. 2015; 31(1): 41–49.
20. Costaa V, Correiab J, Nunesc C, Félixd C, Costad N. Nutritional and Clinical Intervention in Patients with Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Overweight or Obesity. Rev Port Endocrinol Diabetes Metab. 2017; 12(2):161-168.
21. Özdirença M, Biberoğlub S, Özcana A. Evaluation of physical fitness in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. 2003; 60(3): 171–176.
22. Steele A, Shields M, Knight B, Pearson E. Waist circumference: A predictive tool for insulin resistance. Journal of Diabetes Nursing. 2019; 9 (10): 389-393.
23. Hamdy O, Porramatikul S, Al-Ozairi E. Metabolic Obesity: The Paradox Between Visceral and Subcutaneous Fat. Current Diabetes Reviews. 2006; 2(4): 367-373(7).
24. Friedl Col.K.E. Waist Circumference Threshold Values for Type 2 Diabetes Risk. J Diabetes Sci Technol 2009; 3(4): 761-769.