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The relative contributions of the abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat depots to cardiometabolic risk in youth

Authors

  • A. S. Kelly,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    2. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    • Address for correspondence: Dr AS Kelly, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, 420 Delaware Street S.E., MMC 715, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. E-mail: kelly105@umn.edu

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  • D. R. Dengel,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    2. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    3. School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • J. Hodges,

    1. Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • L. Zhang,

    1. Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • A. Moran,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    2. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • L. Chow,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • A. R. Sinaiko,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    2. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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  • J. Steinberger

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
    2. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, USA
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Summary

The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat, independent of total body fat, with cardiometabolic risk factors and insulin resistance among youth. Visceral and subcutaneous fat, percentage total body fat, insulin resistance (adjusted for lean body mass: Mlbm), blood pressure, glucose, insulin and lipids were obtained in 472 youth ages 6–18 years. Linear regression, adjusted for age, sex, race, Tanner stage and percentage total body fat, was used to evaluate associations of visceral and subcutaneous fat with cardiometabolic risk factors. Visceral fat was associated inversely with Mlbm (P = 0.003) and positively with fasting insulin (P = 0.002) and triglycerides (P = 0.002). Visceral fat levels above the mean were associated inversely with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (P = 0.002), and positively with systolic blood pressure (P < 0.0001) and non-HDL cholesterol (P < 0.0001). Subcutaneous fat was associated inversely with Mlbm (P = 0.003) and HDL cholesterol (P < 0.05), and positively with fasting glucose (P < 0.05), fasting insulin (P = 0.0003), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.005) and triglycerides (P = 0.003). Subcutaneous fat levels above the mean were associated with non-HDL cholesterol (P = 0.0002). These findings suggest that there may be a threshold level of visceral and subcutaneous fat (regardless of total body fat), that when exceeded in childhood, is more likely to be associated with many cardiometabolic risk factors. Triglycerides and insulin resistance appear to be associated with these fat depots at even lower thresholds of abdominal adiposity.

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