Abstract 16434: Prevalence, Distribution, and Risk Factor Correlates of High Thoracic Periaortic Fat in the Framingham Heart Study
Background: Thoracic periaortic adipose tissue (TAT) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, and may play a role in obesity-mediated vascular disease. We sought to determine the prevalence and risk factor correlates of high TAT.
Methods: Participants from the Framingham Heart Study (n=3246, 50% women, mean age 51 years) underwent multidetector computed tomography. TAT was measured using a semi-automatic technique which identified characteristic pixels of adipose tissue surrounding the thoracic aorta on 27 non-overlapping 2.5 mm slices. High TAT (Males ≥ 18.98; Females ≥ 10.19) and VAT (Males ≥ 2323; Females ≥ 1359) were defined as volumes ≥ sex-specific 90th percentiles in a healthy referent subsample. Sex-specific regression models were used to compare risk factors between individuals with different patterns of high TAT and high VAT.
Results: The prevalence of high TAT was 38.1% in women, 35.7% in men, and increased with age into the 7th decade. Among individuals discordant for high TAT and high VAT, high VAT was associated with a more adverse cardiometabolic profile after adjusting for age. Among individuals without high VAT, 10.1% had high TAT. After adjustment for age and VAT, high TAT, even in the absence of high VAT, was associated with a higher prevalence of CVD (p <0.0001) compared to those without high TAT in both sexes (7.8% among individuals with high TAT versus 2.4% among those without high TAT). In addition, men in this group were more likely to be smokers (p=0.02) whereas women were more likely to have low HDL cholesterol (p=0.005). Other risk factors, including the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome were similar.
Conclusion: In the absence of high VAT, individuals with high TAT were characterized by a higher prevalence of CVD and differences in certain risk factors compared with those without high TAT. This adipose phenotype may identify individuals with distinct cardiometabolic characteristics that may not be recognized by clinical adiposity measures alone.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.