Background The objective of this study was to measure associations of circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) levels with anthropometric and abdominal fat distribution in overweight or obese postmenopausal women.
Methods One hundred eight overweight or obese postmenopausal were evaluated. Demographic and anthropometric measurements were done. Serum IL-6, TNF-α, glucose, and insulin levels were measured. Insulin resistance was calculated by using homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). The assessment of abdominal fat distribution was performed by ultrasonography. Statistical analysis was made with Pearson and partial correlation analysis.
Results There was a positive correlation between serum IL-6 and TNF-α (r = .19; p = .047). IL-6 was positively correlated with body mass index (BMI) (r = .43; p = .0001), waist circumference (r = .41; p = .0001), and visceral fat layer (r = .33; p = .0001) measurements and HOMA-IR index (r = .31, p = .001). A positive relationship between HOMA-IR and visceral fat layer thickness was observed (r = .320; p = .0001). TNF-α was positively associated with BMI but not with any measures of central obesity. When adjustment for BMI was performed, there were no significant relationships between the studied parameters.
Conclusions There are no significant correlations between abdominal fat distributions measured by ultrasonography and circulating IL-6 and TNF-α levels. BMI may have a stronger association with circulating inflammatory cytokine concentrations than with different measures of central obesity in overweight or obese postmenopausal women.