Comparison of Associations of DXA and CT Visceral Adipose Tissue Measures With Insulin Resistance, Lipid Levels, and Inflammatory Markers

John T. Schousboe, Lisa Langsetmo, Ann V. Schwartz, Brent C. Taylor, Tien N. Vo, Allyson M. Kats, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Eric S. Orwoll, Lynn M. Marshall, Iva Miljkovic, Nancy E. Lane, Kristine E. Ensrud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measured by computed tomography (CT) is related to insulin resistance, lipids, and serum inflammatory markers. Our objective was to compare the strength of the associations of VAT measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA-VAT) and CT (CT-VAT) with insulin resistance, serum lipids, and serum markers of inflammation. For 1117 men aged 65 and older enrolled in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study, the cross-sectional associations of DXA-VAT and CT-VAT with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (homa2ir), C-reactive protein, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were estimated with regression models and compared using a Hausman test. Adjusted for age and body mass index, DXA-VAT was moderately associated with homa2ir (effect size 0.38, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.28–0.47) and modestly associated with HDL cholesterol (DXA effect size −0.29, 95% CI: −0.38 to −0.21). These associations were significantly greater than those for CT-VAT with homa2ir (0.30, 95% CI: 0.24–0.37; p value for effect size difference 0.03) and CT-VAT with HDL cholesterol (−0.22, 95% CI: −0.29 to −0.15; p value for difference 0.005). Neither DXA-VAT nor CT-VAT was associated with C-reactive protein after adjustment for age and body mass index (DXA-VAT effect size 0.14, 95% CI: −0.04 to 0.32; CT-VAT effect size 0.08, 95% CI: −0.08 to 0.25; p value for difference 0.35). DXA-VAT has similar or greater associations with insulin resistance and HDL cholesterol as does CT-VAT in older men, confirming the concurrent validity of DXA-VAT. Investigations of how well DXA measurements of VAT predict incident cardiovascular disease events are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Densitometry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fasting glucose and insulin measures were obtained with grant support from the American Diabetes Association (grant number 1-04-JF-46, Strotmeyer ES). Computed tomography abdominal body composition image processing was supported by the National Institutes of Health primarily through grant R01 HL084183, and with funds from NIH grants P60 AR05473101, R21 DK066224, and UL1 RR024140 and from the Oregon Medical Research Foundation. Measurement of VAT with DXA was supported with an unrestricted grant from Hologic, Inc. (Schwartz AV).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • CT-VAT
  • insulin resistance
  • serum inflammatory markers
  • visceral adipose tissue (VAT)

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