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PLoS One. 2014 Nov 14;9(11):e112715. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112715. eCollection 2014.

Positive relationship between serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and visceral fat in a Chinese nondiabetic population.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital; Shanghai Clinical Center for Diabetes; Shanghai Key Clinical Center for Metabolic Disease; Shanghai Diabetes Institute; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Diabetes Mellitus, Shanghai 200233, China.
Department of Radiology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China.



It has been reported that obesity and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) are important risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is recognized that regionalized adiposity has different cardiovascular risk, visceral versus subcutaneous, is a better predictor of CVD. However, the relationship between regionalized adiposity and LDL-c is unclear. The present study was designed to investigate the relationship between visceral fat accumulation and serum LDL-c levels in a Chinese cohort.


A total of 1 538 subjects (539 men, 999 women; 20-75 years old) with normal glucose tolerance and blood pressure were recruited. All subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging to quantify visceral fat area (VFA) and subcutaneous fat area. Serum LDL-c levels were detected by direct assay method.


Overweight/obese subjects (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2) had significantly higher serum LDL-c levels than the lean subjects (BMI <25 kg/m2) (P < 0.01). An increasing trend in serum LDL-c levels was found to accompany the increase in VFA (P for trend < 0.01). Within the same BMI category, subjects with abdominal obesity (VFA ≥ 80 cm2) had significantly higher LDL-c levels than those without abdominal obesity (VFA < 80 cm2) (P < 0.05). Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that increased VFA was an independent risk factor for elevated LDL-c levels, not only in the entire study population (Standard β = 0.138; P < 0.01), but also when the study population was subdivided into men, premenopausal and postmenopausal women (Standard β = 0.117, 0.145, 0.090 respectively for men, premenopausal women, postmenopausal women; all P < 0.01).


VFA was positively correlated with serum LDL-c levels in a nondiabetic Chinese population with normal blood pressure.

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