Individual contributions of visceral fat and total body fat to subclinical atherosclerosis: The NEO study
SourceAtherosclerosis, 241, 2, (2015), pp. 547-554
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: Both overall and abdominal adiposity are established risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and total body fat (TBF) are strongly correlated and previous studies did not make this distinction. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to distinguish individual contributions of TBF, VAT, and the ratio of VAT to abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT/SAT) to subclinical atherosclerosis in men and women. METHODS: In this cross-sectional analysis of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study, we assessed VAT and SAT with magnetic resonance imaging, TBF with bio-electrical impendence analysis, and carotid Intima-Media Thickness (cIMT) with ultrasound. We performed linear regression analyses of standardized values of TBF, VAT, VAT/SAT with cIMT. We adjusted the models for confounding factors (age, sex, ethnicity, education, smoking, alcohol, physical activity), and either for VAT or TBF. RESULTS: This analysis included 2451 participants, 53% men with mean (SD) cIMT of 615 (91)mum. After adjustment for confounding factors, the difference in cIMT (95% CI) per SD in VAT was 14 (8,21)mum in men and 18 (13,24)mum in women. After adjustment for TBF, this attenuated to 5 (-3,13)mum in men and 13 (5,20)mum in women. In the full model, differences in cIMT (95% CI) per SD of TBF were 14 (6,22)mum in men and 8 (0,16)mum in women, and per SD of VAT/SAT were 7 (-1,15)mum and 9 (3,16)mum respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based study, VAT contributed beyond overall adiposity to subclinical atherosclerosis, particularly in women. This implies a specific role of VAT in the early development of atherosclerosis.
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