Anatomical patterning of visceral adipose tissue: Race, sex, and age variation

Ellen W. Demerath, Shumei S. Sun, Nikki Rogers, Miryoung Lee, Derek Reed, Audrey C. Choh, William Couch, Stefan A. Czerwinski, W. Cameron Chumlea, Roger M. Siervogel, Bradford Towne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We tested sex, race, and age differences in the patterning of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Research Methods and Procedures: Contiguous 1-cm-thick magnetic resonance (MR) images of the abdomen were collected from 820 African-American and white adults. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to examine the effects of image location, sex, race, and age (≥50 vs. <50 years) on adipose tissue areas. Maximum VAT area was identified for each subject from the raw data. Results: Compared to women, men had greater total VAT volume (p < 0.0001), and their maximum VAT area occurred higher in the abdomen (p < 0.0001). Among white men, maximim VAT area most frequently occurred 5 to 10 cm above L4-L5, whereas in the other groups, maximim VAT area most frequently occurred 1 to 4 cm above L4-L5 (p < 0.0001). African-American men had greater total VAT volume than African-American women (p < 0.01), but this sex difference was only significant using single images cranial to L4-L5 + 2 cm. Age-related increases in VAT tended to be greatest 5 to 10 cm above L4-L5 in men and near L4-L5 in women. Discussion: A single MR image 5 to 10 cm above L4-L5 may allow more accurate conclusions than the L4-L5 image regarding group differences in visceral adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2984-2993
Number of pages10
JournalObesity
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Abdominal obesity
  • Adults
  • Body composition
  • Body fat distribution
  • Magnetic resonance

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