Abdominal visceral fat measurement using dual-energy X-ray: Association with cardiometabolic risk factors


  • Funding agencies: The study was supported in part by a grant from the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis Lombardy Chapter (SISA). GE Healthcare funded a portion of this project related to data acquisition and data analysis.

  • Disclosure: MPR, JX, WKW, YX, and DLE are employees of GE Healthcare or its affiliates. No other potential conflicts of interest related to this article were reported.

Correspondence: David L. Ergun(ergundavid@gmail.com)



To examine the association between cardiometabolic risk factors and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measurements using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) based approach.

Design and Methods

An analysis of cross-sectional relationships between DXA VAT measured using CoreScan (GE Healthcare) and cardiometabolic indicators was conducted on a sample of 939 subjects (541 females and 398 males; average age, 56 years; average BMI, 26 kg/m2) who had previously undergone a total body DXA scan as well as measurements of key cardiometabolic risk factors.


Sex-specific, age-adjusted multivariable regression analysis showed that for both men and women, DXA VAT was significantly associated with increased odds of hypertension, impaired fasting glucose, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes (P < 0.001). After additional model adjustment for BMI and waist circumference, the odds ratio (per SD change in VAT) for type 2 diabetes was 2.07 for women and 2.25 for men. Similarly, the odds ratio for metabolic syndrome for women was 3.46 and for men was 1.75.


VAT measured using DXA showed a significant association with cardiometabolic risk factors and disease. These relationships persist after statistical adjustment for age, BMI, and waist circumference. DXA VAT may provide a new accessible option for quantifying VAT-related cardiometabolic risk.