Abdominal adiposity by ultrasonography: A "pocket" database for reference standard in Italian people

Alberto Bazzocchi, Federico Ponti, Danila Diano, Antonio Moio, Ugo Albisinni, Renato Pasquali, Giuseppe Battista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims To provide a reference standard database of ultrasonographic parameters of abdominal adiposity in healthy people.

Methods Italian non-obese volunteers among blood donors were enrolled in 5 age bands (from 18 to 70 year-old) to reach the threshold of 25 males and 25 females per single band (total: 250). All subjects were measured for weight, height and waist circumference and underwent ultrasonography (US) by an expert radiologist for the assessment of several abdominal fat thicknesses (minimum and maximum subcutaneous fat thickness, maximum preperitoneal fat thickness, intrabdominal fat thickness, aorto-mesenteric thickness, and mesenteric fat thickness). In addition, US data were normalized per waist circumference.

Results From 30s to 50s no statistically significant differences were achieved between males and females for the adiposity markers of visceral fat, while a relevant divergence was proved from 60s to 70s. During ageing a marked increase of the visceral fat compartment was observed in males, while only the preperitoneal circumference was significantly modified in females.

Conclusions This paper reports on US parameters of abdominal adiposity of healthy Italian adults, to be used as a reference for daily clinical practice. Data could be also considered as control group for future investigations on physiology, pathological conditions, and differences between countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
JournalPrimary Care Diabetes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Body composition
  • Body fat distribution
  • Health
  • Reference standard
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine(all)


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