Risk for metabolic diseases in normal weight individuals with visceral fat accumulation: A cross-sectional study in Japan

Yukako Tatsumi, Yoko M. Nakao, Izuru Masuda, Aya Higashiyama, Misa Takegami, Kunihiro Nishimura, Makoto Watanabe, Takayoshi Ohkubo, Tomonori Okamura, Yoshihiro Miyamoto

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Objective To investigate the association between visceral fat area (VFA) and metabolic syndrome (Mets) among normal weight Japanese. Design A cross-sectional study. Setting The health check-up centre of the Takeda Hospital group in Kyoto, Japan. Methods This study involved 1674 men and 1448 women aged 30-74years who underwent medical check-ups in 2012 in the health check-up centre. They were stratified by Body Mass Index (BMI cut-off for obesity is set at 23.0kg/m2 for Asians): normal weight 18.5-22.9kg/m2 or higher weight ≥23.0kg/m2. The age-adjusted ORs of the 2nd to 4th groups of sex-specific VFA quartiles compared with the 1st quartile for a Mets component clustering were estimated. The clustering was having two or more of the following factors: High blood pressure, high fasting blood glucose (FBG), low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and high triglycerides. Statistical analyses were conducted in 2016. Results Participants in the 2nd to 4th VFA quartiles had significantly higher clustering risks; ORs were 3.4 (1.5 to 8.0), 6.3 (2.8 to 14.2) and 9.3 (4.2 to 20.7) for normal weight participants, and 1.7 (1.2 to 2.6), 2.6 (1.8 to 3.9) and 6.0 (4.1 to 8.8) for higher weight participants, respectively. The ORs of the 4th VFA quartile for Mets components were significantly higher; ORs for normal weight participants were 2.1 (1.5 to 3.0) (high blood pressure), 2.4 (1.4 to 4.2) (high FBG), 5.2 (2.1 to 12.9) (low HDL-C) and 12.0 (5.7 to 25.3) (high triglycerides), and higher weight participants were 3.9 (2.8 to 5.5), 4.1 (2.8 to 6.2), 3.9 (2.2 to 6.9) and 5.0 (3.4 to 7.4), respectively. Conclusions Among participants with normal weight, as well as those of higher weight, dose-dependent responses were observed between VFA and risk for Mets components and the clustering among Japanese adults. VFA may be useful information for interventions to improve metabolic risk factors in people with normal weight.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere013831
JournalBMJ open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


  • visceral fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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