JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evidence for the association between abdominal fat and cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese African American women

Pei-Yang Liu, Lyndsey M Hornbuckle, Lynn B Panton, Jeong-Su Kim, Jasminka Z Ilich
Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2012, 31 (2): 126-32
22855918

OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between total body fat and abdominal region fat derived from dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in middle- to older-aged African American (AA) women. We also compared tape-measured waist and hip circumference and their ratio (WHR) with DXA measurements in the context of CVD risk factor predictability.

METHODS: Participants included 59 overweight or obese African American women (age, 48.7 ± 5.6 years). Anthropometries, including waist and hip circumferences, were measured, and DXA scans were used to derive fat mass from the total body and abdominal region. Blood analyses included glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol/HDL and LDL/HDL ratios, C-reactive protein (CRP), and fibrinogen. Multiple linear regression models were used to investigate the association among DXA-derived fat mass measures, waist circumference, WHR, and cardiovascular risk factors.

RESULTS: Among DXA-derived fat mass measures, DXA-derived abdominal fat mass showed the best prediction for glucose and triglycerides, although waist circumference and DXA-derived abdominal fat mass had equivalent capacity for predicting the total cholesterol/HDL ratio. Furthermore, waist circumference showed the best prediction for LDL/HDL ratio and CRP.

CONCLUSIONS: Both DXA-derived abdominal fat mass and waist circumference had comparable capacity for predicting blood lipid profiles and CRP. Therefore, if waist circumference is measured correctly, it could be used as the simplest means of predicting CVD risk factors in overweight/obese AA women when DXA is not available.

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