2014 Volume 53 Issue 4 Pages 299-305
Objective A cluster of multiple risk factors has been noted to constitute the background of cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the visceral fat area (VFA) or subcutaneous fat area (SFA) and a cluster of obesity-related cardiovascular risk factors, including hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and elevated blood pressure, in middle-aged Japanese men and women.
Methods A total of 571 subjects (m=434; f=137; age: 53±9 years) who underwent health examinations with evaluations of body fat distribution using computed tomography scans and assessments of 75-g oral glucose tolerance tests were enrolled in this study.
Results The VFA and SFA were linearly correlated with the number of risk factors in both men and women. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve of VFA (m=0.741, f=0.763) was significantly higher than that of SFA (m=0.636, f=0.689) with respect to the clustering of risk factors (one or more). The men exhibited larger VFA values and smaller SFA values than the women in similar body mass index (BMI) categories. Men with a VFA of ≥100 cm2 irrespective of BMI and women with a VFA of ≥100 cm2 and a BMI of ≥25 kg/m2 demonstrated a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance. Men and women with a VFA of ≥100 cm2 irrespective of BMI demonstrated a high prevalence of type IIb dyslipidemia.
Conclusion These results suggest that the absolute value of VFA rather than SFA is more closely associated with a cluster of risk factors irrespective of sex and is a good marker for selecting subjects to whom weight reduction should be recommended in order to prevent cardiovascular disease in the general population.