Effect of fat distribution on endothelial-dependent and endothelial-independent vasodilatation in healthy humans

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2006 May;8(3):296-301. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2005.00505.x.


Aim: The present study aims to explore the relationship between inflammatory cytokines, plasma lipids, insulin, blood pressure (BP), total adiposity/markers of fat distribution and endothelial function in healthy people across a wide range of body fatness.

Methods: Seventy-three healthy people (44 women; age range: 24-64 years) with body mass index (BMI) range of 18.6-73.1 kg/m2 were recruited. All participants underwent assessment of conduit artery endothelial-dependent vasodilatation by using flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery and endothelial-independent vasodilatation to sublingual GTN. They had blood taken for measurement of plasma markers of glucose homeostasis (fasting insulin and glucose), systemic inflammation (interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha receptor 2 (TNF-alpha R2)) and lipids (low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and triglycerides). Morphometric assessment (waist circumference, BMI and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)) and systolic and diastolic arterial pressure were also measured.

Results: Markers of total body fat/fat distribution (waist circumference, BMI and WHR), inflammation (IL-6, CRP and TNF-alpha R2), metabolism (fasting insulin, HDL, LDL and triglycerides) and BP (systolic and diastolic) correlated with FMD. Among these measurements, WHR was the only independent predictor of FMD (r2 = 0.30; p = 0.0001).

Conclusions: WHR is an important marker of endothelial dysfunction in healthy people across a wide range of body fatness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Fat Distribution*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vasodilation / physiology*
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cytokines
  • Insulin
  • Lipids