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Pediatr Diabetes. 2011 May;12(3 Pt 2):250-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5448.2010.00705.x. Epub 2010 Dec 5.

Measurement site of visceral adipose tissue and prediction of metabolic syndrome in youth.

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  • 1Division of Weight Management & Wellness, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, USA.



It is unknown whether measurement site of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) influences the relationship between VAT and associated health risk in youth and if so, whether ethnic differences exist in this relationship. We examined the influence of the measurement site of VAT on the relationships between VAT and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in African-American (AA) and American-White (AW) youth.


Healthy AA (n = 54) and AW (n = 54) children and adolescents (age: 8-18 yr; BMI: 15.3-42.5 kg/m(2)).


VAT mass was derived using a series of five transverse images measured by magnetic resonance imaging, extending from 5 cm below to 15 cm above L4-L5. MetS was defined using a modified IDF criteria.


In AA, VAT measure at 5 cm above L4-L5 (R(2) = 0.93) was most strongly (p < 0.05) correlated with VAT mass and was a significantly (p < 0.05) stronger correlate as compared to L4-L5 (R(2) = 0.84). In AW, VAT measures at 5 cm (R(2) = 0.93) and 10 cm (R(2) = 0.93) above L4-L5 were most strongly (p < 0.05) correlated with VAT mass; however, these were not stronger correlates as compared to L4-L5 (R(2) = 0.91). In AW, all VAT measures were significantly (p < 0.05) associated with an increased odds ratio (OR) for prevalent MetS, wherein the VAT mass [OR = 5.32(1.9-15.0)] and VAT at L4-L5[OR = 5.99(1.9-18.4)] were most strongly associated with MetS. In contrast, only VAT at 10 cm above L4-L5 [OR = 4.39 (1.1-18.1)] was significantly (p < 0.05) associated with MetS in AA.


In AA and AW youth, the measurement site for VAT has impact on the estimation of total VAT and the magnitude of the association with obesity-related health risks.

© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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