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Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Nov;38(11):1397-402. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.29. Epub 2014 Feb 14.

Periaortic fat and cardiovascular risk: a comparison of high-risk older adults and age-matched healthy controls.

Author information

1
Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.
2
Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.
3
Section on Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Fat accumulation around the heart and aorta may impact cardiovascular (CV) health. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic investigation to examine potential associations of these fat depots with risk factors for CV events, which has not been done before.

METHODS:

Pericardial fat, periaortic fat around the ascending aorta (AA), descending aorta (DA) and aortic arch, and abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat were measured by MRI in older adults with (n = 385, 69 ± 8 years, 52% female) and without (n = 50, 69 ± 8 years, 58% female) risk factors for a CV event.

RESULTS:

Individuals with CV risk factors exhibited greater fat volumes across all fat depots compared with those without risk factors. In analysis of covariance accounting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, smoking and body mass index (BMI), individuals with risk factors possessed higher epicardial, pericardial, AA, DA and abdominal visceral fat (P < 0.05). When matched one-to-one on age, gender, race/ethnicity and BMI, AA and DA fat were higher in those with versus without CV risk factors (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Older adults with a high risk for CV events have greater periaortic fat than low-risk adults, even after accounting for BMI. More studies are needed to determine whether greater periaortic fat predicts future CV events.

PMID:
24525960
PMCID:
PMC4143481
DOI:
10.1038/ijo.2014.29
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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