Objective: The objective of the study was to examine body fat distribution using computed tomography (CT), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and anthropometry in relation to type 2 diabetes in urban Asian Indians.
Research design and methods: This is a case-control study of 82 type 2 diabetic and 82 age- and sex-matched nondiabetic subjects from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study, an ongoing epidemiological study in southern India. Visceral, subcutaneous, and total abdominal fat were measured using CT, while DEXA was used to measure central abdominal and total body fat. Anthropometric measures included BMI, waist circumference, sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), and waist-to-hip ratio.
Results: Visceral and central abdominal fat showed a strong correlation with each other (P <0.0001), and kappa analysis revealed a fairly good agreement between tertiles of visceral and central abdominal fat (kappa=0.44, P <0.0001). Diabetic subjects had significantly higher visceral (P=0.005) and central abdominal (P=0.011) fat compared with nondiabetic subjects. Waist circumference and SAD showed a strong correlation with visceral (P <0.01) and central abdominal (P <0.0001) fat in both diabetic and nondiabetic subjects. Logistic regression analysis revealed visceral (odds ratio [OR] 1.011, P=0.004) and central abdominal (OR 1.001, P=0.013) fat to be associated with diabetes, even after adjusting for age and sex.
Conclusions: Visceral and central abdominal fat showed a strong association with type 2 diabetes. Both measures correlated well with each other and with waist circumference and SAD in diabetic and nondiabetic urban Asian Indians.