||Accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) is enhanced by chronic hyperglycemia and oxidative stress and this process may contribute to the pathogenesis of vascular disease. Skin autofluorescence (AF), a measure of accumulation of AGEs in skin collagen, is associated with vascular disease in patients with diabetes. Because central obesity enhances oxidative stress people with central obesity might already have increased accumulation of AGEs before diabetes or cardiovascular disease become manifest. To test this hypothesis, we compared the distribution of skin AF and its association with clinical and biochemical parameters in individuals with and without central obesity. Skin AF was measured by a validated AGE Reader in 816 persons with and 431 persons without central obesity, aged 20-70 y. Mean skin AF increased with age and smoking and was higher in centrally obese individuals compared with non-obese individuals (p = 0.001, after adjustment for age and smoking p = 0.13). Mean skin AF in the subgroups without central obesity and without other risk factors (n = 106), central obesity without other risk factors (n = 74) and central obesity with other risk factors (n = 742) was 1.63 ± 0.37, 1.74 ± 0.44 and 1.87 ± 0.43 AU, respectively (p for trend < 0.001, after adjustment for age and smoking p for trend = 0.12). In the group with central obesity age, current smoking, alcohol consumption, waist circumference, creatinine clearance and hs-CRP were independently associated with skin AF (R(2) = 29.4%). Waist circumference hardly contributed to the explained variance. The relationship between waist circumference and skin AF is not as obvious as we hypothesized.