Relationships between cardiovascular risk profile, ultrasonographic measurement of intra-abdominal adipose tissue, and waist circumference in obese children

Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;29(1):24-30. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2009.06.004. Epub 2009 Jul 2.


Background & aims: Ultrasonographic measurements have been proposed to assess intra-abdominal adipose tissue. The aim of this study was to compare the relationship between waist circumference (WC), ultrasonographic measurements of intra-abdominal adipose tissue (UMA), and cardiovascular risk factors (CRF).

Methods: We determined blood pressure (BP), fasting HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin resistance index HOMA, 2 h glucose in oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT), weight status (SDS-BMI), WC, and UMA in 89 obese children. Furthermore, we analyzed the changes of CRF, SDS-BMI, WC, and UMA in 29 obese children participating in a one-year lifestyle intervention.

Results: In stepwise multivariable regression analysis, waist circumference was significantly associated to LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, HOMA, and systolic blood pressure (adjusted variance (AV) 0.05-0.17). SDS-BMI was significantly related to triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, 2 h glucose in oGTT, and diastolic blood pressure (AV 0.12-0.15), while UMA was related significantly to HOMA (AV 0.04). The obese children participating in a lifestyle intervention significantly reduced their overweight, which was associated with a significant improvement of most CRF and a reduction of WC and UMA. Changes of WC were significantly correlated to changes of HDL-cholesterol (r=-0.45), HOMA (r=0.37), glucose tolerance (r=0.59), systolic BP (r=0.60), and diastolic BP (r=0.43), while change of SDS-BMI and UMA were not significantly related to any CRF.

Conclusions: Compared to UMA, WC was stronger related to CRF in obese children. Therefore, the simple measurement of WC seems preferable as an indirect marker of CRF.

Trial registration: NCT00435734.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / diagnostic imaging*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / diagnostic imaging*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Ultrasonography
  • Waist Circumference*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol

Associated data