Sex Differences in Body Composition

  • Miriam A. Bredella
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1043)


Body composition differs between men and women. Men have more lean mass, and women have more fat mass than men. Men are more likely to accumulate adipose tissue around the trunk and abdomen, whereas women usually accumulate adipose tissue around the hips and thighs. Less is known about sex differences in ectopic fat depots. Advances in imaging allow the noninvasive assessment of abdominal and femorogluteal fat compartments, intramyocellular lipids, intrahepatic lipids, pericardial adipose tissue, and neck adipose tissue including brown adipose tissue and tongue adipose tissue. In this review, sex differences of regional adipose tissue, muscle mass, ectopic lipids, and brown adipose tissue and their effects on cardiometabolic risk will be discussed. In addition, novel imaging techniques to quantify these body composition compartments noninvasively will be described.


Sex differences Body composition Visceral adipose tissue Subcutaneous adipose tissue Muscle mass Intramyocellular lipids Intrahepatic lipids Pericardial adipose tissue Neck adipose tissue Brown adipose tissue Tongue adipose tissue 



The author has nothing to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Division of Musculoskeletal Radiology and InterventionsMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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