Hypothesis Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SCAT) compared with intra-abdominal adipose tissue (IAAT) would be more significantly associated with the metabolic syndrome in Asian Indians.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting Tertiary care medical institution.
Subjects 100 healthy adults without known heart disease or diabetes.
Interventions Magnetic resonance imaging to measure cross-sectional areas of abdominal adipose tissue compartments at the L3–L4 intervertebral level. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry to measure fat percentage (BF%) and lean mass of total body, trunk, legs and arms.
Results Subjects with the metabolic syndrome (n=35) had a significantly higher BF%, SCAT and IAAT than those without it. Both SCAT and IAAT showed a significant correlation with blood pressure and triglycerides. One SD increase in IAAT (odds ratio (OR) 3.43; 95% CI 1.78 to 6.63) or SCAT area (OR 6.35; 95% CI 2.75 to 14.7) was significantly associated with the metabolic syndrome. On comparing them in the same model, SCAT was the only significant factor associated with the metabolic syndrome (OR 4.92; 95% CI, 1.95 to 12.38). In receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, significant areas under the curves (AUC) were noted for IAAT (0.77) and SCAT (0.89). On comparing the equality of AUC by C statistics, SCAT was a more significant predictor of the metabolic syndrome than IAAT (p=0.009). Only SCAT was significantly associated with the metabolic syndrome after adjusting for BF%, lean body mass or trunk lean mass.
Conclusion SCAT is a more important predictor of the metabolic syndrome in Asian Indians than IAAT. The significance of SCAT in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and diabetes needs to be investigated further in Asian Indians.
- Abdominal adiposity
- Asian Indians
- metabolic syndrome
- risk factors
- subcutaneous adipose tissue
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