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Jpn Circ J. 2001 Mar;65(3):193-9.

Visceral fat accumulation contributes to insulin resistance, small-sized low-density lipoprotein, and progression of coronary artery disease in middle-aged non-obese Japanese men.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Molecular Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.


Visceral fat accumulation plays an important role in the occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD) associated with a cluster of multiple risk factors, such as glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and hyperlipoproteinemia. To clarify the detailed features of these factors, based on visceral fat accumulation, the present study examined the relationship between fat distribution and the characteristics of glucose metabolism and serum lipoproteins in middle-aged non-obese Japanese men. First, the influence of visceral fat accumulation on glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and the extent and severity of coronary artery lesions was investigated in 50 subjects with CAD and compared with 15 control subjects without CAD (Study 1) and with the lipoprotein characteristics in 44 subjects without CAD who were not treated with lipid-lowering drugs (Study 2). Body fat distribution was determined by abdominal computed tomography. In Study 1, the visceral fat area (VFA), blood pressure, fasting immunoreactive insulin (FIRI), and the plasma insulin area (PIA) obtained by oral glucose tolerance test in the subjects with CAD were all significantly higher than in the control subjects. The VFA was significantly correlated with FIRI, the homeostasis model of insulin resistance, PIA and steady state plasma glucose (SSPG) concentration as an index for insulin resistance (r=0.57, p<0.001, r=0.49, p<0.01, r=0.36, p<0.01, and r=0.50, p<0.05, respectively). Although the SSPG concentration did not correlate with the coronary atherosclerosis index as a score of the extent and severity of coronary lesions, the VFA was significantly correlated with this index (r=0.43, p<0.01). In Study 2, the VFA had significant positive correlations with serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, and apolipoprotein B and E levels and the cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations of very-low-density lipoprotein, intermediate-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) fractions. There was a negative correlation between the VFA and LDL particle size (r=-0.34, p<0.05). In conclusion, visceral fat accumulation may contribute to the development of CAD through the progression of insulin resistance and the increase of apo B-containing lipoproteins and small-sized LDLs in middle-aged non-obese Japanese men.

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