Familial correlations for five measures of adiposity were assessed using data from 473 nuclear families residing in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Fat patterning, measured as the ratio of trunk to extremity subcutaneous fat, and the ratio of the subscapular to the sum of the subscapular and suprailiac skinfolds, and three measures of generalized fatness: body mass index, the sum of six skinfolds and the sum of three trunk skinfolds were analyzed. Maximum likelihood estimates of the familial correlations were obtained for each phenotype, after adjusting for the effects of (1) age within sex, and (2) current levels of energy intake and expenditure, and age within sex. Hypotheses regarding sex‐specific, and generational differences in these correlations were assessed for each phenotype, under both adjustment schemes. The strength and pattern of the familial correlations for the three measures of generalized fatness were markedly influenced by the specific adjustments applied to the data. In contrast, the familial correlations for the fat patterning phenotypes were quite similar under the two adjustment schemes. Comparison of our results with previously published data indicates that the familial correlations for a subset of these adiposity measures may be heterogeneous across populations. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss. Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-143
Number of pages11
JournalGenetic Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993


  • body mass index
  • environment
  • fat patterning
  • genetics
  • obesity
  • skinfolds
  • subcutaneous fat


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