Body fat distribution might be differentially associated with subclinical cardiovascular disease. We examined whether the body mass index, waist circumference, and subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue are associated with the prevalence of either coronary or abdominal aortic calcium in the Framingham Heart Study. Participants (n = 3,130, mean age 52 years, 49% women) free of clinical cardiovascular disease from the Framingham Heart Study underwent multidetector computed tomographic assessment to quantify the subcutaneous and visceral fat volume and coronary and abdominal aortic calcification. Coronary artery calcification and abdominal aortic calcium were examined in relation to the body mass index, waist circumference, subcutaneous adipose tissue, and visceral adipose tissue in age-, gender-, and multivariate-adjusted models. All measures of adiposity were associated with coronary aortic calcium in the age- and gender-adjusted models (all p <0.008). All relations were attenuated in the multivariate models (all p >0.14). The body mass index, waist circumference, and visceral adipose tissue (but not the subcutaneous adipose tissue) were associated with abdominal aortic calcification in the age- and gender-adjusted models (all p <0.012). However, all relations were attenuated in the multivariate models (all p >0.23). Similar findings were observed in the quartile-based analyses. In conclusion, the general measures of obesity and measures of central abdominal fat are related to the coronary aortic calcium and abdominal aortic calcium levels. However, these cross-sectional associations are attenuated by cardiovascular disease risk factors, possibly because they mediate the association between adiposity measures and subclinical cardiovascular disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine