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Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1132-7. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27820. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Adipose tissue distribution after weight restoration and weight maintenance in women with anorexia nervosa.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA. lsm16@columbia.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Body image distortions are a core feature of anorexia nervosa (AN). We, and others, previously reported abnormalities in adipose tissue distribution after acute weight restoration in adult women with AN compared with body mass index-matched healthy control women. Whether these abnormalities persist over time remains unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to 1) replicate previous findings that showed preferential central accumulation of adipose tissue in recently weight-restored AN women compared with control subjects, 2) describe the change within patients with longer-term (1-y) weight maintenance, and 3) compare adipose tissue distribution after 1-y maintenance with that of control subjects.

DESIGN:

Body composition and adipose tissue distribution were assessed by whole-body magnetic resonance imaging in women with AN shortly after weight normalization (n = 30) and again 1 y after hospital discharge (n = 16) and in 8 female control subjects at 2 time points.

RESULTS:

With acute weight restoration, AN patients had significantly greater visceral and intermuscular adipose tissue compared with control women [visceral: 0.75 +/- 0.26 compared with 0.51 +/- 0.26 kg in AN patients and controls, respectively (P = 0.02); intermuscular: 0.46 +/- 0.17 compared with 0.29 +/- 0.13 kg in AN patients and controls, respectively (P = 0.01)]. With maintenance of normal weight for approximately 1 y, visceral adipose tissue distribution in AN patients was not different from that in healthy control subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

In adult women with AN, normalization of weight in the short term is associated with a distribution of adipose tissue that is consistent with a central adiposity phenotype. This abnormal distribution appears to normalize within a 1-y period of weight maintenance. This research was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT 00271921 and NCT 00368667.

PMID:
19793856
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2762154
Free PMC Article
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