Previous studies have demonstrated that circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of cardiovascular risk, are strictly related to body fatness. Elevated fibrinogen levels are also predictive of future cardiovascular events. The metabolic background of this relationship and the predictors of fibrinogen levels have not been well established. We aimed to evaluate whether fibrinogen levels are associated with body fat content and distribution and to determine the independent predictors of fibrinogen levels in a sample of healthy, non-obese, nonsmoking young adult men. Age, anthropometric measures (body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip ratio [WHR]), total and regional fat content (determined by dual x-ray absorptiometry [DXA]), metabolic variables (total cholesterol [T-Chol], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C], and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C]; triglycerides [TG]; glucose and insulin levels; fasting insulin resistance index [FIRI]; blood pressure), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and acute-phase reactants levels (fibrinogen, highly sensitive [hs]-CRP) were determined in 87 healthy nonsmoking, non-obese subjects. Linear regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between body fat, fibrinogen, and metabolic variables, and multiple regression model analysis was used to examine the independent predictors of fibrinogen levels. Eighty-seven (30.5 +/- 3.5 years) non-obese (mean BMI 24.1 +/- 3.5) men were studied. Fibrinogen levels were strongly associated with measures of body fat and with metabolic variables. Total body fat (P < .0001) and LDL-cholesterol (P < .01) were the independent predictors of fibrinogen levels, accounting for 29.5% and 10.9% of its variance, respectively. Total body fat was the best independent predictor of hs-CRP levels, accounting for 32.5 % of its variance. We conclude that in healthy, non-obese subjects, body fat content is the main predictor of fibrinogen levels, as well of hs-CRP levels. These findings support the speculation that there is a direct mechanism by which adipose tissue might regulate the levels of circulating acute-phase reactants.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc.