Body Fat Patterning, Hepatic Fat and Pancreatic Volume of Non-Obese Asian Indians with Type 2 Diabetes in North India: A Case-Control Study

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 16;10(10):e0140447. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140447. eCollection 2015.


Objective: To evaluate body fat patterning and phenotype including hepatic fat and pancreatic volume of non-obese (BMI: < 25 kg/m2) Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes residing in North India.

Methods: Non-obese patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 93) and non-obese, normo-glycemic subjects (n = 40) were recruited. BMI, waist & hip circumferences, skinfold thickness at 8 sites, body fat, lean mass and detailed abdominal fat evaluation [total abdominal fat, total subcutaneous fat (superficial, deep, anterior, and posterior), total intra-abdominal fat (intra-peritoneal, retroperitoneal)], liver span, grades of fatty liver and pancreatic volume were compared.

Results: Waist circumference, subscapular skinfolds and total truncal fat (on DEXA) were higher whereas calf, total peripheral skinfolds and total leg fat (on DEXA) lower in patients. Specifically, the following volumes were higher in cases as compared to controls; total abdominal fat (19.4%), total intra-abdominal fat (49.7%), intra-peritoneal fat (47.7%), retroperitoneal fat (70.7%), pancreatic volume (26.6%), pancreatic volume index (21.3%) and liver span (10.8%). In cases, significant positive correlations were observed for pancreatic volume with BMI, waist and hip circumferences, W-HR, subscapular, abdominal and total truncal skinfolds, truncal, total subcutaneous, total intra-abdominal, intra-peritoneal, retroperitoneal fat depots, liver span and fatty liver.

Conclusions: In non-obese Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes, subcutaneous and intra-abdominal obesity, including fatty liver, and pancreatic volume were higher and peripheral subcutaneous adiposity was lower than BMI matched non-diabetic subjects. Importantly, increased pancreatic volume in patients was highly correlated with multiple measures of abdominal obesity and liver fat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Fat Distribution*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology*
  • Fatty Liver / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Organ Size
  • Pancreas / pathology*
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Young Adult

Grant support

This study was supported by a financial grant from Merck Pharma Ltd, India. The sponsors had no role in study design, experiments, data analysis and drafting the manuscript and decision to publish. National Diabetes,Obesity and cholesterol foundation provided internal financial assistance in the form of authors' salaries and research materials.