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Metabolic Risk Factors Associated with Visceral and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in a Sex-Specific Manner in Seven-Year-Olds

Journal article
Authors Emma Kjellberg
J. Roswall
J. Andersson
Stefan Bergman
Ann-Katrine Karlsson
Pär-Arne Svensson
J. Kullberg
Jovanna Dahlgren
Published in Obesity
Volume 27
Issue 6
Pages 982-988
ISSN 1930-7381
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiology
Pages 982-988
Language en
Subject categories Pediatrics


Objective: This study aimed to investigate how visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) volumes were associated with metabolic risk factors in 7-year-old children. Methods: A total of 81 children (52% girls) from a Swedish birth cohort were studied. At 6 years of age, anthropometric data, fasting insulin, glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure were collected on 53 children with normal weight and 28 children with overweight or obesity, and insulin resistance was estimated. At 7 years of age, magnetic resonance imaging quantified VAT and SAT. Sex and regression analyses were conducted. Results: SAT was more strongly associated with metabolic risk factors than VAT. The associations between VAT and metabolic risk factors were stronger in girls (P < 0.05). When VAT was adjusted for birth weight and maternal BMI and education, it accounted for 51% of insulin variance (β = 11.72; P = 0.001) but only in girls. The key finding of this study was that adjusted SAT accounted for 63% of the fasting insulin variance in girls (β = 2.76; P < 0.001). Waist circumference was the best anthropometric marker for insulin resistance. Conclusions: Insulin resistance was associated with abdominal adipose tissue and its associated metabolic risk factors in children as young as 7 years old. © 2019 The Obesity Society

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