Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2013
Copyright © 2012 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 4, pages 824–830, April 2013
How to Cite
Zhang, X., Hu, E. A., Wu, H., Malik, V. and Sun, Q. (2013), Associations of leg fat accumulation with adiposity-related biological factors and risk of metabolic syndrome. Obesity, 21: 824–830. doi: 10.1002/oby.20028
Funding agencies: This study was supported by research grant [grant number DK58845] from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Xiaomin Zhang is supported by research grant [grant number 30972453] from the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Dr. Qi Sun is supported by a career development award [grant number K99HL098459] from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 25 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 14 SEP 2012 11:55AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Received: 7 NOV 2011
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Number: DK58845
- National Natural Science Foundation of China. Grant Number: 30972453
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Grant Number: K99HL098459
To examine associations between regional fat mass (FM) distribution and cardiometabolic risk factors among ethnic minority groups, such as non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
Design and Methods:
The associations among 8,802 US residents who participated in the 1999-2004 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were examined. Body composition was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Leg fat indices included leg FM, leg FM percent (FM%), leg to whole body FM ratio (leg/whole), and leg to trunk FM ratio (leg/trunk). The correlation between leg fat indices and adiposity-related risk factors, as well as the association of these indices with metabolic syndrome (MetS) was evaluated.
After adjusting for covariates including age, gender, and trunk FM or trunk FM%, higher leg FM and leg FM% were, in general, correlated favorably with adiposity-related risk factors and associated with lower odds of MetS in all ethnicities, including non-Hispanic whites and blacks and Hispanic groups. In addition, in all multivariate-adjusted models, leg/whole and leg/trunk ratios were strongly associated with lower levels of most risk factors and decreased odds of MetS in these ethnicities (all odds ratios comparing extreme quintiles < 0.1).
Results show that leg fat accumulation is inversely associated with adiposity-related biological factors and risk of MetS in both whites and ethnic groups, suggesting that regional fat distribution plays an important role in the etiology of adiposity-related diseases in these populations.