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Diabetes Care. 2013 Feb;36(2):289-93. doi: 10.2337/dc12-0198. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Change in visceral adiposity independently predicts a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 10 years in Japanese Americans.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.



Visceral adiposity is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. We sought to determine whether change in intraabdominal fat area (IAF) over time predicts subsequent development of diabetes.


We followed up 436 nondiabetic Japanese-American subjects (mean age 51.9 years, mean BMI 24.2 kg/m(2), 54% male) for development of diabetes. We fit a logistic regression model to examine the association over a 10-year follow-up between change in IAF at 5-year follow-up and other fat areas (measured by computed tomography) and development of incident diabetes, adjusted for age, sex, family history of diabetes in a first-degree relative, second-generation versus third-generation Japanese American (Nisei vs. Sansei), baseline IAF, BMI, weight change over time, smoking status, physical activity level, and subcutaneous fat (SCF) depot areas.


Cumulative incidence of diabetes was 20.4% at 10 years. Mean change in IAF was 10.9 cm(2). An increase of 1 SD in IAF was associated with a 1.65-fold increase in the odds of diabetes over 10 years (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.21-2.25) after adjusting for the above covariates. This association was also independent of changes in thoracic, thigh, and abdominal SCF, as well as change in weight.


We conclude that baseline IAF and accumulation of fat in this area over time are independent predictors of the development of type 2 diabetes in Japanese Americans.

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