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April 30, 2011
Body fat distribution and inflammation among obese older adults with and without metabolic syndrome. Obesity 2010;18:2354-61
Koster A, Stenholm S, Alley DE, Kim LJ, Simonsick EM, Kanaya AM, Visser M, Houston DK, Nicklas BJ, Tylavsky FA, Satterfield S, Goodpaster BH, Ferrucci L, Harris TB; Health ABC Study.

Description of this Publication

The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in body fat distribution and adipokines of obese older persons with and without metabolic syndrome. The study population included 729 obese men and women (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2), aged 70-79 years from the Health, Aging and Body Composition study. Thirty-one percent of the obese men and women had no metabolic syndrome identified according to the NCEP-ATP III guidelines. Results showed that those with the metabolic syndrome had more intra-abdominal (visceral) fat and less thigh subcutaneous fat than individuals without the metabolic syndrome while total fat mass did not differ between the two groups. Also, obese persons with the metabolic syndrome had higher levels of interleukin-6, C-reactive protein (only significant in women), tumour necrosis factor-a, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, whereas there were no differences in levels of leptin, adiponectin and resistin between the two groups. The cytokines only partly explained the association between intra-abdominal fat and thigh subcutaneous fat with the metabolic syndrome. It was also observed that high thigh subcutaneous fat was protective against the metabolic syndrome in both men and women while increased intra-abdominal fat was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of metabolic syndrome in women. Thus, metabolically healthy obese older persons are characterized by lower intra-abdominal fat and greater thigh subcutaneous fat as well as a more favourable inflammatory profile compared to metabolically unhealthy obese persons.

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Key Words
Abdominal Obesity/Body Fat Distribution, Inflammation, Metabolic Syndrome