Visceral Adipocyte Hypertrophy is Associated With Dyslipidemia Independent of Body Composition and Fat Distribution in Women

  1. André Tchernof1,2
  1. 1Endocrinology and Genomics, Laval University Medical Research Center, Québec, Canada
  2. 2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Laval University, Québec, Canada
  3. 3Gynecology Unit, Laval University Medical Research Center, Québec, Canada
  1. Corresponding author: André Tchernof, andre.tchernof{at}crchul.ulaval.ca.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE We assessed whether subcutaneous and omental adipocyte hypertrophy are related to metabolic alterations independent of body composition and fat distribution in women.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Mean adipocyte diameter of paired subcutaneous and omental adipose tissue samples was obtained in lean to obese women. Linear regression models predicting adipocyte size in both adipose tissue depots were computed using body composition and fat distribution measures (n = 150). In a given depot, women with larger adipocytes than predicted by the regression were considered as having adipocyte hypertrophy, whereas women with smaller adipocytes than predicted were considered as having adipocyte hyperplasia.

RESULTS Women characterized by omental adipocyte hypertrophy had higher plasma and VLDL triglyceride levels as well as a higher total-to-HDL cholesterol ratio compared with women characterized by omental adipocyte hyperplasia (P < 0.05). Conversely, women characterized by subcutaneous adipocyte hypertrophy or hyperplasia showed a similar lipid profile. In logistic regression analyses, a 10% enlargement of omental adipocytes increased the risk of hypertriglyceridemia (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 4.06, P < 0.001) independent of body composition and fat distribution measures. A 10% increase in visceral adipocyte number also raised the risk of hypertriglyceridemia (adjusted OR 1.55, P < 0.02). Associations between adipocyte size and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance were not significant once adjusted for adiposity and body fat distribution.

CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that omental, but not subcutaneous, adipocyte hypertrophy is associated with an altered lipid profile independent of body composition and fat distribution in women.

  • Received July 28, 2010.
  • Accepted January 20, 2011.

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  1. Diabetes vol. 60 no. 5 1504-1511
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