Visceral adipose tissue and cardiovascular risk factors in obese children

J Pediatr. 1998 Jul;133(1):41-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(98)70175-1.


Objective: In adults visceral adipose tissue (VAT) has been shown to be more highly correlated with cardiovascular (CV) risk factors than are other measures of adiposity such as subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (SAAT), percent body fat (%BF), or total body fat mass (TFM). We examined the relations between these measures of fatness and CV risk factors in obese children.

Study design: Subjects were 64 obese (27% to 61% BF) children (24 black girls, 19 white girls, 11 black boys, 10 white boys) aged 7 to 11 years. VAT and SAAT were measured with magnetic resonance imaging. TFM and %BF were determined with dual x-ray absorptiometry. Hierarchical stepwise multiple regression analyses were used to determine the proportions of variance in CV risk factors explained by the demographic and adiposity measures.

Results: VAT but not SAAT, %BF, or TFM explained a significant proportion of the variance (r2 range = 0.10 to 0.21) in several lipid/lipoprotein risk factors including triacylglycerols, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein particle size.

Conclusion: Many of the deleterious relations between VAT and lipid/lipoprotein risk factors seen in adults were already present in this sample of obese children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Constitution
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / pathology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Lipids