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Hypertens Res. 2007 Mar;30(3):229-36.

Relationship between visceral fat and cardiovascular disease risk factors: the Tanno and Sobetsu study.

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Japan.


We assessed the amount of visceral fat using ultrasonography (US) and studied its relationship to cardiovascular disease risk factors, particularly blood pressure. The subjects in the first study were 45 male and 61 female outpatients. We measured the visceral fat area (VFA) of each subject using abdominal CT and waist circumference (WC), and visceral fat distance (VFD) using US. The subjects in the second study were 353 male and 457 female inhabitants of a rural community, for whom VFD and WC were measured. We divided subjects into tertiles based on VFD and WC, and studied the relationship between each group and individual risk factors. In an analysis of outpatient subjects, the correlation coefficient between VFA and VFD was satisfactory: r=0.660 for men and r=0.643 for women. In the analysis of the rural subjects, the high VFD group had a significantly higher odds ratio than the low VFD group in high blood pressure (HBP) and hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) for men and in HBP, HTG and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterolemia (LHDL) for women. Moreover, adjusting VFD for body mass index revealed that, in comparison to WC, VFD was significantly related to risk factors. VFD was used as an independent variable in multiple regression analysis with blood pressure level as a dependent variable; no significant association between WC and blood pressure was obtained. Visceral fat assessment by US may be useful for epidemiological study and for clinics with no abdominal CT equipment for identifying high-risk individuals, such as those with metabolic syndrome.

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