Pennington Biomedical Research Center Announces New Women's Health Study: Women Between the Ages of 18-40 Asked to Participate

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Released: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - Pennington Biomedical Research Center announced today that it will conduct a new clinical trial to determine why women carry weight differently and how it may affect health.  The Apple & Pear Study is open to females between the ages of 18-40 years old. 

The principal investigator of the Apple & Pear Study, which is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), is Yourka Tchoukalova, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor at Pennington Biomedical and head of The Biology of Adipose Tissue Depots Laboratory.

The 7-month clinical trial will compare two different body shapes, the "apple"-shape (having the majority of fat above the waist) and the "pear"-shape (below the waist).  There is evidence that "pear"-shaped women have better health, and researchers will study why women carry weight differently and how if may affect health.  "Obesity is a nationwide epidemic that can lead to a variety of other health complications. We know that individuals accumulate body fat very differently with respect to location that is associated with health consequences." says Dr. Tchoukalova. "This study will give us valuable insight as to why some women are predisposed to gain fat in the upper (abdominal) region, while others accumulate fat in the lower region (hips and thighs). We will also gain important information about the health implications of these body types." added Dr. Tchoukalova.  The study will require participants to complete a screening visit and 21 outpatient clinic visits.  Participants will receive up to $1400 for their participation in the study.

To determine eligibility, call 225-763-3000 or visit


The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.