Changes in truncal obesity and fat distribution predict arterial health

Frank E. Corrigan, Heval Mohamed Kelli, Devinder S. Dhindsa, Robert E. Heinl, Ibhar Al Mheid, Muhammad Hammadah, Salim S. Hayek, Salman Sher, Danny J. Eapen, Greg S. Martin, Arshed A. Quyyumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Truncal obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk. Although vascular health is influenced by weight, it is not known whether changes in fat distribution modulate arterial function. Objective We assessed how changes in truncal (android) fat at 1 year affect arterial stiffness and endothelial function. Methods We recruited 711 healthy volunteers (235 males, age 48 ± 11 years) into the Emory Predictive Health Study; 498 returned at 1 year. Measurements included anthropometric and chemistry panels, fat mass using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, arterial stiffness indices (pulse wave velocity [PWV], augmentation index [AIx], and subendocardial viability ratio [SEVR]; Sphygmocor), flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and reactive hyperemia index (Endo-PAT). Results At baseline, measures of body mass correlated with PWV, AIx, SEVR, and FMD. In a multivariable analysis including body mass index (BMI) and traditional risk factors, BMI remained an independent predictor of PWV, AIx, SEVR, and FMD. In a model including BMI and measures of fat distribution, android fat remained an independent predictor of PWV (β = 0.31, P =.004), AIx (β = 0.24, P =.008), and SEVR (β = −0.41, P <.001). The 1-year change in android fat correlated negatively with change in SEVR (β = −0.13, P =.005) and FMD (β = −0.13, P =.006) after adjustment for change in gynoid fat. Conclusion In addition to BMI, android fat is a determinant of arterial stiffness, independent of traditional risk factors. Changes in android fat over time are associated with simultaneous changes in vascular function, indicating fat distribution's effect on vascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1354-1360.e3
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Body mass index
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Truncal obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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