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Abstract

The extent to which the relationship between body fat and blood pressure either differs by sex or explains sex differences in blood pressure is examined. Estimates of the relationship of blood pressure to several measures of adiposity in men and women were obtained from a systematic review of the literature and tests of whether these relationships differ by sex were performed. Analysis of covariance (controlling for age and race) was used for both casual and ambulatory blood pressure in the Cornell Worksite Blood Pressure Study (N = 276). In general, most adiposity measures were significantly related to casual and ambulatory blood pressure in men and women. Subscapular skinfold thickness and body mass index exhibited the strongest associations. The vast majority of adiposity/blood pressure associations were not significantly different for men and women. Finally, sex differences in adiposity did not account for much of the sex difference observed in blood pressure. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.