Abdominal circumference measurement by ultrasound does not enhance estimating the association of visceral fat with cardiovascular risk

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Seibert, Helena [UNIFESP]
Pereira, Aline Maria Luiz [UNIFESP]
Ajzen, Sergio Aron [UNIFESP]
Nogueira, Paulo Cesar Koch [UNIFESP]
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Objectives: To evaluate the association between visceral fat and cardiovascular risk factors and to compare the ultrasonographic measurements of abdominal visceral fat with abdominal circumference (AC).Methods: This observational cross-sectional study categorized pubertal and postpubertal adolescents into a control group (n = 49) and an obese group (n = 46). Weight, height, AC, blood pressure, biochemical tests (lipid profile, triacylglycerols, fasting glucose for insulinemia, and serum uric acid), and ultrasound to measure visceral fat were assessed.Results: We found significant differences in the vascular risk variables between the groups, except for total cholesterol and fasting blood glucose level. We also observed that 31 subjects in the control group presented abnormalities in cardiovascular risk factors. the correlations between abdominal visceral fat (measured by ultrasound or the AC) and cardiovascular risk factors were significant. in the entire sample, AC presented better sensitivity and specificity than the ultrasound-measured abdominal visceral fat for identifying the presence of a cluster of at least three cardiovascular risk factors (areas under the receiver operating characteristics curve 0.87 and 0.73, respectively).Conclusion: Ultrasonographic measurements of visceral fat were correlated with cardiovascular risk factors, but this association was also demonstrable with AC measurements. Our results suggest that the measurement of visceral fat by ultrasound is unnecessary for the diagnosis of cardiovascular risk in well-nourished or obese adolescents. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nutrition. New York: Elsevier B.V., v. 29, n. 2, p. 393-398, 2013.