Relation of visceral adiposity to circulating natriuretic peptides in ambulatory individuals

Susan Cheng, Caroline S. Fox, Martin G. Larson, Joseph M. Massaro, Elizabeth L. McCabe, Abigail May Khan, Daniel Levy, Udo Hoffmann, Christopher J. O'Donnell, Karen K. Miller, Christopher Newton-Cheh, Andrea D. Coviello, Shalender Bhasin, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Thomas J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Natriuretic peptides have important roles in the regulation of vasomotor tone, salt homeostasis, and ventricular remodeling. Lower natriuretic peptide levels observed in obese individuals may underlie the greater cardiovascular risk associated with obesity. Thus the aim of this study was to determine whether lower natriuretic peptide levels in obesity are attributable to differences in regional fat distribution. We investigated the relation of plasma N-terminal proB-type natriuretic peptide (NTpro-BNP) to regional adiposity in 1,873 community-based individuals (46% women, mean age 45 years). Subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volumes were measured by multidetector computed tomography. In gender-specific multivariable analyses adjusting for age and blood pressure, log NTpro-BNP was inversely associated with VAT in men (beta -0.11 per standard deviation increment, p <0.001) and women (beta -0.19, p <0.001). Log NTpro-BNP was inversely associated with SAT in women only (beta -0.14, p <0.001). In models containing VAT and SAT, only VAT was significantly associated with log NTpro-BNP (men, beta -0.137, p <0.001; women, beta -0.184, p <0.001). VAT remained associated with log NTpro-BNP even after adjustment for body mass index and waist circumference (beta -0.119, p <0.001) and in analyses restricted to nonobese patients (beta -0.165, p <0.001). Adjustment for insulin resistance attenuated the associations of NTpro-BNP with VAT and SAT. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that circulating NTpro-BNP is related to variations in regional and particularly visceral adiposity. These findings suggest that excess visceral adiposity and concomitant hyperinsulinemia may contribute to the natriuretic peptide "deficiency" observed in obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-984
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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