Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.
A metabolically healthy obese phenotype in hispanic participants in the IRAS family study
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 11, pages 2303–2309, November 2013
How to Cite
Samaropoulos, X. F., Hairston, K. G., Anderson, A., Haffner, S. M., Lorenzo, C., Montez, M., Norris, J. M., Scherzinger, A. L., Chen, Y.-D. I. and Wagenknecht, L. E. (2013), A metabolically healthy obese phenotype in hispanic participants in the IRAS family study. Obesity, 21: 2303–2309. doi: 10.1002/oby.20326
Funding agencies: Dr. Samaropoulos was supported by the T32 training grant on quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Grant No T32HL087730. IRAS Family Study funding was obtained through grants R01HL060944, R01061019, R01HL060919, and R01HL060894.
- Issue published online: 1 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 18 FEB 2013 12:13AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 6 FEB 2012
- Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. Grant Number: T32HL087730
- IRAS Family Study. Grant Numbers: R01HL060944, R01061019, R01HL060919, R01HL060894
Objective: Some obese individuals appear to be protected from developing type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This has led to characterizing body size phenotypes based on cardiometabolic risk factors specifically as obese or overweight, and as metabolically healthy (MH) or metabolically abnormal (MA) based upon blood pressure, lipids, glucose homeostasis, and inflammatory parameters. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of and describe fat distribution across these phenotypes in a minority population.
Design and Methods: Hispanic participants (N = 1054) in the IRAS Family Study were categorized into different body size phenotypes. Computed tomography (CT) abdominal scans were evaluated for measures of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and abdominal fat distribution. Statistical models adjusting for familial relationships were estimated.
Results: Seventy percent (70%) of the Hispanic cohort was overweight (32%) or obese (38%). Forty-one percent (n = 138) of overweight participants and 19% (n = 74) of obese participants met criteria for MH. Adjusted analyses showed the MH phenotype was associated with lower visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and higher liver density (indicating lower fat content) in obese participants (p = 0.0005 and p = 0.0002, respectively), and lower VAT but not liver density in overweight participants (p = 0.008 and p = 0.162, respectively) compared to their MA counterparts. Odds of NAFLD were reduced in MH obese (OR = 0.34, p = 0.0007) compared to MA obese. VAT did not differ between MH obese or overweight and normal weight groups.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that lower levels of visceral and liver fat, despite overall increased total body fat, may be a defining feature of MH obesity in Hispanic Americans.