Systolic blood pressure positively associated with visceral fat and fat-free mass

  • Malden D & al.
  • Obesity (Silver Spring)
  • 13 May 2019

  • curated by Sarfaroj Khan
  • UK Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • In both men and women, systolic blood pressure (SBP) was positively associated with visceral fat and fat-free mass but not with subcutaneous android or gynoid fat.

Why this matters

  • Visceral fat is the primary aetiological component of both central and general adiposity underlying the development of adiposity-related hypertension that has potential implications for enhanced risk stratification, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Study design

  • This study included 10,260 participants using combined individual participant data from UK Biobank and Oxford BioBank studies.
  • The association of SBP with anthropometric measures of adiposity (body mass index [BMI], waist circumference [WC] and waist-to-hip ratio [WHR]) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived measures of body composition (visceral, sub-cutaneous android fat, sub-cutaneous gynoid fat and fat-free mass) was evaluated.
  • Funding: Oxford University Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit.

Key results

  • In both men and women, SBP was positively associated with (all values in mean differences [95% CIs]/standard deviations):
    • visceral android fat: 3.16 (2.33-4.00) mmHg/0.81 and 2.81 (2.19-3.44) mmHg/0.46; and
    • fat-free mass: 1.92 (1.39-2.44) mmHg/7.11 and 1.64 (1.11-2.17) mmHg/5.13, respectively.
  • No significant association observed between SBP and sub-cutaneous android or gynoid fat.
  • After adjustment for fat-free mass, the association of SBP with BMI was slightly sharper than that with WC or WHR, but adjustment for visceral android fat eliminated the associations with WC and WHR and more than halved associations with BMI.

Limitations

  • Cross-sectional nature.

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