Change in abdominal visceral fat predicts future pulse pressure
The accumulation of abdominal visceral fat over time is an independent predictor of future arterial pulse pressure, which is a marker of arterial stiffness, according to a recent study involving Japanese Americans.
A positive association existed between 10-year pulse pressure and change in abdominal visceral fat area at 5 years independent of sex, 5-year change in body mass index (BMI), and baseline age, BMI, pulse pressure, abdominal visceral fat, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance and fasting plasma glucose.
No significant associations were observed between baseline amounts or change in abdominal or thigh subcutaneous fat areas and future pulse pressure.
Computed tomography was used to measure visceral fat as well as abdominal and thigh subcutaneous fat areas at baseline and 5 years later in Japanese Americans (n=284; mean age 49.3 years; 50.4 percent men) without hypertension, heart disease and glucose-lowering medication use at baseline.
Pulse pressure at 10 years was calculated as the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure with a mercury sphygmomanometer. Using linear regression analysis, the investigators examined the correlation between change in fat at 5 years and arterial pulse pressure at 10 years, adjusted for baseline pulse pressure.
In an earlier study, Hayashi and colleagues found that greater visceral adiposity increased the risk for hypertension in Japanese Americans. Intraabdominal fat area significantly predicted hypertension even after adjustment for total subcutaneous fat area, abdominal subcutaneous fat area or waist circumference. [Ann Intern Med 2004;140:992-1000]
Both body composition and pulse pressure are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to the investigators.