Central Adiposity and Cortical Thickness in Midlife

Sonya Kaur, Mitzi M. Gonzales, Barbara Strasser, Evan Pasha, Jasmine McNeely, Hirofumi Tanaka, Andreana P. Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objectives Excessive visceral fat is associated with greater metabolic fluctuation and increased risk for dementia in older adults. The aim of the current study is to directly determine the impact of central adiposity on brain structure at midlife by examining the thickness of the cerebral cortex. Methods High-resolution magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo images were obtained from 103 participants aged 40 to 60 years (mean [standard deviation] = 49.63 [6.47] years) on a 3-T Siemens Skyra scanner. Visceral fat was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Results Individuals with higher visceral fat mass and volume had significantly thicker cortex in the right posterior cingulate gyrus (β = 0.29 [p =.019] and β = 0.31 [p =.011], respectively), controlling for age, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol level, and blood glucose level. Conclusions Visceral fat was significantly associated with thicker cortex in the posterior cingulate gyrus. Although future studies are necessary, these results indicate that central adiposity is associated with significant metabolic changes that impinge upon the central nervous system in middle age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-678
Number of pages8
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 13 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • central adiposity
  • cognitive decline
  • cortical thickness
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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