Added sugar intake is associated with pericardial adipose tissue volume

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2020 Dec;27(18):2016-2023. doi: 10.1177/2047487320931303. Epub 2020 Jun 28.

Abstract

Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships of pericardial adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue volume with added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage intakes. We hypothesized that both added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages were positively associated with pericardial adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue volumes in black and white men and women enrolled in the prospective Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study.

Methods and results: Dietary intake was assessed by diet history at baseline, year 7 and year 20 examinations in 3070 participants aged 18-30 and generally healthy at baseline. After 25 years follow-up, participants underwent a computed tomography scan of chest and abdomen; the computed tomography scans were read, and pericardial adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue volumes were calculated. Quintiles were created for the average of baseline, year 7 and year 20 added sugar and for the average of sugar-sweetened beverages. General linear regression analysis evaluated the associations of pericardial adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue volumes across quintiles of added sugar and across quintiles of sugar-sweetened beverage intakes adjusted for potential confounding factors. In a multivariable model, pericardial adipose tissue volume was higher across increasing quintiles of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage intakes (ptrend = 0.001 and ptrend < 0.001, respectively). A similar relation was observed for visceral adipose tissue (ptrend < 0.001 for both added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages).

Conclusions: Long-term intakes of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with higher pericardial adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue volumes. Because these ectopic fat depots are associated with greater risk of disease incidence, these findings support limiting intakes of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Keywords: Added sugar; ectopic fat; epidemiology; pericardial adipose tissue; sugar-sweetened beverages.

Publication types

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