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Nutr Metab (Lond). 2019 Jul 10;16:44. doi: 10.1186/s12986-019-0369-0. eCollection 2019.

Visceral fat reduction is positively associated with blood pressure reduction in overweight or obese males but not females: an observational study.

Guo X1,2, Xu Y1,2, He H1,2, Cai H1,2, Zhang J1,2, Li Y1,2, Yan X1,2, Zhang M1,2, Zhang N1,2, Maddela RL3, Ma G1,2.

Author information

1Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Peking University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100191 China.
2Beijing Key Laboratory of Toxicological Research and Risk Assessment for Food Safety, School of Public Health, Peking University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100191 China.
USANA Health Sciences, Inc., 3838 W Parkway Boulevard, West Valley City, UT 84120 USA.



Visceral adiposity has been reported to play a key role in hypertension compared with other measurements of regional or general obesity. The aim of current study was to evaluate the relationship between visceral fat reduction and changes in blood pressure in a group of overweight or obese Chinese individuals.


An observational study was conducted with 168 participants (ChiCTR-OOC-17012000). Body composition, blood parameters and blood pressure were assessed at the beginning and end of the intervention. Males and females were categorized separately into quartiles according to changes in visceral fat during the intervention. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the associations of changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure with changes of visceral fat area, adjusted for potential confounders.


Changes in visceral fat was significantly associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure in men for systolic (β = 0.234, 95% CI: 0.103, 0.365; p = 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (β = 0.237; 95% CI: 0.127, 0.346; p <0.001), but not in women after adjustment for the same potential confounders for systolic blood (β = - 0.003, 95% CI: - 0.260, 0.255; p = 0.984) and diastolic blood pressure (β = 0.101, 95% CI: - 0.072, 0.273; p = 0.249).


A positive association was observed between reduction in visceral fat and improvements in both systolic blood and diastolic blood pressures in males but not females in a 12-week meal replacement intervention.

Trial registration:

The Ethics Committee of Peking University Health Science Center approved the study protocol on 6 July 2017. The authors confirm that all ongoing and related trials for this intervention were carried out following the rules of the Declaration of Helsinki of 1975 and registered (ChiCTR-OOC-17012000).


Blood pressure; Gender; Meal replacement; Obesity; Overweight; Visceral fat

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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