Sedentary behavior and adiposity-associated inflammation: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis

Am J Prev Med. 2012 Jan;42(1):8-13. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.09.023.


Background: Sedentary behavior is associated with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk.

Purpose: To determine the associations between sedentary behavior and measures of adiposity-associated inflammation.

Methods: Between 2002 and 2005, a total of 1543 Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis participants completed detailed health history questionnaires, underwent physical measurements, and had blood assayed for adiponectin, leptin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and resistin. Analyses included linear regression completed in 2010. The mean age was 64.3 years and nearly 50% were female. Forty-one percent were non-Hispanic white, 24% Hispanic-American, 20% African-American, and 14% Chinese-American.

Results: In linear regression analyses and with adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity, education, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hormone therapy and waist circumference, sedentary behavior was associated with higher natural log ("ln") of leptin and ln TNF-α but a lower ln adiponectin-to-leptin ratio (β=0.07, β=0.03 and -0.07, p<0.05 for all). Compared to the first tertile, and after the same adjustment, the second and third tertiles of sedentary behavior were associated with higher levels of ln leptin (β=0.11 and β=0.12, respectively; p<0.05 for both) but lower levels of the adiponectin-to-leptin ratio (β=-0.09 and -0.11, respectively; p<0.05 for both).

Conclusions: Sedentary behavior is associated with unfavorable levels of adiposity-associated inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adiposity*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atherosclerosis / ethnology
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / ethnology
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Diseases / ethnology
  • Metabolic Diseases / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • Leptin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha