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Invest Clin. 2014 Mar;55(1):3-14.

[Hepatic steatosis, visceral fat and metabolic alterations in apparently healthy overweight/obese individuals].

[Article in Spanish]


Clinical observation indicates that many obese individuals do not display important metabolic alterations. Consequently, the objective of this study was to establish whether simple obesity, non concurrent with other important risk factors, was associated with metabolic alterations; or if the phenomenon known as "obesity paradox" was present. A clinical history, measurements of anthropometric and metabolic parameters and estimation of hepatic steatosis and visceral fat, were determined in 30, apparently healthy, individuals from Maracaibo, Venezuela, between 20 and 59 years of age and a body mass index (BMI) above 25 kg/m2, and compared to a lean control group of 11 individuals with BMI less than 25 kg/m2. The study demonstrated that only one third of overweight/obese individuals (OW/OB), with high body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC), presented elevated values of insulin, HOMA-IR and triglycerides. Nevertheless, the presence of hepatic steatosis was elevated in the OW/OB group (91%) vs. 9% in the control group. The visceral fat in the lean control group was associated with both, WC and glycemia; however, it was not related to the BMI or insulin, HOMA-IR and HDLc. The visceral fat in the OW/OB group, although elevated in relation to the lean group, revealed a loss of these associations. In the OW/OB it was the BMI that was associated with insulin and HOMA-IR. The results emphasize the importance of investigating for the presence of hepatic steatosis, rather than visceral fat, in individuals with OW/OB, to identify subjects with high cardiometabolic risk.

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