January 12, 2016
1 min read

Visceral adipose tissue predicts cardiometabolic risk

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Chinese adults with higher levels of abdominal visceral adipose tissue have higher blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol and 2-hour glucose levels, whereas abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue was not associated with any additional risk factors, according to research in Clinical Endocrinology.

Lizhi Tang, MD, of West China Hospital of Sichuan University, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,449 adults aged 40 to 65 years recruited from a screening survey for metabolic syndrome between September and November 2011. Researchers used MRI to assess abdominal fat distribution and measured BP, plasma glucose, insulin, HbA1c and lipid profiles.

Within the cohort, 657 had normal glucose tolerance, 645 had prediabetes and 147 had diabetes detected at screening.

Higher visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was associated in both men and women with higher BP (P = .0002), triglycerides (P < .0001), total cholesterol (men P = .02; women P = .0002) and 2-hour glucose levels (men P = .003; women P < .0001). Results persisted across all levels of glucose tolerance status. Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) was associated with only a borderline rise in systolic BP in the normal glucose tolerance group and with postprandial glucose in the prediabetes group (P < .05), according to researchers.

In logistic regression analysis, VAT, but not SAT, was associated with increased risk for hypertension (OR = 1.97; P < .0001), prediabetes (OR = 1.53; P = .0007) and dyslipidemia (OR = 2.4; P < .0001) after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, alcohol use, medication and menopausal status in women.

“This study showed that VAT was associated with most cardiometabolic risk factors in a middle-aged Chinese population,” the researchers wrote. “Therefore, abdominal fat loss, especially VAT, should be recommended as part of a preventive strategy for metabolic disorders.” by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.