• visceral fat;
  • metabolic syndrome;
  • elderly;
  • BMI

OBJECTIVES: To examine the relationship between visceral fat area (VFA) evaluated using computed tomography (CT) scans and the number of metabolic risk factors in older adults.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study

SETTING: A community clinic in Tokyo, Japan.

PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred eighteen individuals aged 65 and older without impairments in activities of daily living who underwent geriatric health examination (63 men, mean age 74.5 ± 7.1; 155 women, mean age 75.3 ± 6.7).

MEASUREMENTS: VFA was obtained from a cross-sectional image at umbilical level in the supine position using CT scanning. Metabolic syndrome components except waist circumference were measured using the criteria of the International Diabetes Federation.

RESULTS: There was a positive correlation between VFA and number of metabolic risk factors in men and women. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that only VFA was significantly correlated with number of risk factors in men, whereas age and VFA were significantly correlated in women; body mass index was not correlated with number of metabolic risk factors in men or women. Dyslipidemia and high blood glucose were associated with higher VFA, but high blood pressure was not. There was a negative correlation between VFA and serum adiponectin level and a positive correlation between VFA and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance.

CONCLUSION: Visceral fat accumulation is associated with metabolic risk factor clustering even in the elderly population. These results have clinical implications for the management of obesity in older adults.