Serum CETP concentration is not associated with measures of body fat: The NEO study

Atherosclerosis. 2016 Mar:246:267-73. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.01.031. Epub 2016 Jan 19.


Introduction: Adipose tissue has been postulated to contribute substantially to the serum cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) pool. However, in a recent large cohort study waist circumference was not associated with plasma CETP. The aim of the present study was to further examine associations of accurate measures of body fat and body fat distribution with serum CETP concentration.

Methods: In this cross-sectional analysis of the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study, we examined in 6606 participants (aged 45-65 years) the associations of total body fat, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), abdominal subcutaneous (aSAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) assessed with magnetic resonance imaging (n = 2547) and total and trunk fat mass assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (n = 909) with serum CETP concentration. Regression models were adjusted for age, ethnicity, sex, dietary intake of fat and cholesterol, physical activity, smoking and menopausal status.

Results: Mean (SD) age was 56 (6) years and BMI 26.3 (4.4) kg/m(2), 56% were women. Mean serum CETP concentration was 2.47 μg/mL. The difference in serum CETP was 0.02 μg/mL (95%CI: -0.01, 0.05) per SD total body fat (8.7%), and 0.02 μg/mL (0.00, 0.04) per SD BMI (4.4 kg/m(2)). Similar associations around the null were observed for waist circumference, WHR, aSAT, VAT, total and trunk fat mass.

Conclusion: In this population-based study, there was no evidence for clinically relevant associations between several measures of body fat and serum CETP concentration. This finding implies that adipose tissue does not contribute to the CETP pool in serum.

Keywords: Body fat; Body fat distribution; Cholesteryl ester transfer protein; Subcutaneous adipose tissue; Visceral adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adiposity*
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / diagnostic imaging
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / physiopathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / diagnostic imaging
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging
  • Subcutaneous Fat, Abdominal / physiopathology*
  • Waist Circumference
  • Waist-Hip Ratio


  • Biomarkers
  • CETP protein, human
  • Cholesterol Ester Transfer Proteins