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We examined the association between subcutaneous fat dis­tribution and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors in 3,443 men and women aged 18-65 years. Participants were individuals who received a preventive medical examination which included blood pressure and blood chemistry measurements and had body composition assessed by both skin- fold and hydrostatic weighing techniques. Unadjusted analyses showed a positive correlation between all skinfold measures and CHD risk factors in both men and women. Canonical redundancy analyses were used to isolate the association of skinfold fat measurements to CHD risk factors. The effects of age and total body fat (as assessed by hydrostatic weighing) were removed from the association by partial correlation techniques. After ad­justment, the peripheral skinfolds (thigh and triceps) loaded negatively (or approached 0) on the canonical variate. We conclude that subcutaneous fat deposits on the trunk are more related to CHD risk factors than sub­cutaneous fat deposits on the extremities. Patterns of subcutaneous fat dis­tribution may be important to assess in clinical and research studies.