Article ID: JE20170191
Background: Excessive alcohol intake has been shown to be associated with cardiovascular disease via metabolic pathways. However, the relationship between alcohol intake and obesity has not been fully elucidated. We aimed to examine the association of alcohol consumption with fat deposition and anthropometric measures.
Methods: From 2006–2008, we conducted a cross-sectional study in a population-based sample of Japanese men aged 40 through 79 years. Areas of abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) were calculated using computed tomography imaging. Based on a questionnaire, we classified participants into five groups according to weekly alcohol consumption, excluding former drinkers: non-drinkers (0 g/week), 0.1–160.9, 161–321.9, 322–482.9, and ≥483 g/week. Multivariable linear regression was used to estimate adjusted means of obesity indices for each group.
Results: We analyzed 998 men (mean age and body mass index [BMI], 63.8 years and 23.6 kg/m2, respectively). Higher weekly alcohol consumption was strongly and significantly associated with higher abdominal VAT area, percentage of VAT, and VAT-to-SAT ratio (all P for trend <0.001), and also with waist circumferences and waist-to-hip ratio (P for trend = 0.042 and 0.007, respectively). These associations remained significant after further adjustment for BMI, whereas alcohol consumption had no significant association with abdominal SAT area.
Conclusions: Higher alcohol consumption was associated with higher VAT area, VAT%, and VAT-to-SAT ratio, independent of confounders, including BMI, in general Japanese men. These results suggest that alcohol consumption may have a potential adverse effect on visceral fat deposition.