Associations of Leg Fat Accumulation with Adiposity-Related Biological Factors and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
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CitationZhang, Xiaomin, Emily A. Hu, Hongyu Wu, Vasanti Malik, and Qi Sun. 2012. “Associations of Leg Fat Accumulation with Adiposity-Related Biological Factors and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) 21 (4): 824-830. doi:10.1002/oby.20028. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.20028.
AbstractThe association between regional fat mass distribution and cardiometabolic risk factors has been inconsistent in the literature, and data for ethnic minority groups, such as non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics, are lacking. We aimed to examine this association among 8802 US residents who participated in the 1999-2004 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Body composition was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Leg fat indices included leg fat mass (FM), leg fat mass percent (FM%), leg to whole body FM ratio (leg/whole) and leg to trunk FM ratio (leg/trunk). We evaluated the correlation between leg fat indices and adiposity-related risk factors, as well as the association of these indices with metabolic syndrome (MetS). After adjusting for covariates including age, gender, and trunk FM or trunk FM%, higher leg FM and leg FM% were, in general, correlated favorably with adiposity-related risk factors and associated with lower odds of MetS in all ethnicities, including non-Hispanic whites and blacks and Hispanic groups. In addition, in all multivariate-adjusted models, leg/whole and leg/trunk ratios were strongly associated with lower levels of most risk factors and decreased odds of MetS in these ethnicities (all odds ratios comparing extreme quintiles < 0.1). Our results show that leg fat accumulation is inversely associated with adiposity-related biological factors and risk of MetS in both whites and ethnic groups, suggesting that regional fat distribution plays an important role in the etiology of adiposity-related diseases in these populations.
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