Visceral adipose tissue in women: longitudinal study of the effects of fat gain, time, and race.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of fat gain, time, and race on the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in a group of normal-weight premenopausal women. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Sixty-five women participated in the study (32 African American and 33 white). The mean age of subjects was 34 +/- 6 years (range, 22 to 47 years). Eligible subjects were women who had body mass indices <25 kg/m(2) at baseline and who had completed evaluations at baseline and at follow-up year 1, without intervention. A subset of subjects was reevaluated annually for up to 4 years. Body composition was assessed by DXA, and VAT was determined from a single computed tomography scan. A linear mixed model was used to examine changes in VAT over time, with total body fat as a covariate RESULTS: Total fat mass was not significantly different between races at baseline and increased significantly in both groups over time (p < 0.001). Time-related increases in total body fat were greater in African-American women (p < 0.01). VAT was significantly higher in white women at baseline (p < 0.01) and increased significantly over time in both races (p < 0.01), but remained higher in white women (p < 0.001). Increases in VAT, relative to total body fat, were greater than the increases in total body fat over time, independent of age and race (p < 0.001). DISCUSSION: Gaining total body-fat mass results in a higher increase in VAT, relative to total body fat, regardless of race and age, although African-American women maintain a lower VAT levels across time.
  • Published In

  • Obesity Research  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adipose Tissue, Adult, African Continental Ancestry Group, Aging, Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Continental Population Groups, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Regression Analysis, Time Factors, Viscera
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lara-Castro C; Weinsier RL; Hunter GR; Desmond R
  • Start Page

  • 868
  • End Page

  • 874
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 9