Abstract 9803: Relation of Vascular Growth Factors with CT-Derived Measures of Body Fat Distribution: The Framingham Heart Study
Background: Obesity is associated with cardiometabolic risk. However, the localization of excess body fat impacts on the accompanying morbidity. Given that angiogenesis is a key feature of adipogenesis, and that angiogenic factors correlate with cardiovascular risk, variation in the association of levels of circulating vascular growth factors (and their soluble receptors) with distinct body fat compartments may explain differences in the pathogenicity of regional fat depots.
Methods and Results: We assessed relationships of four body fat compartments (visceral adipose tissue - VAT, subcutaneous adipose tissue - SAT, thoracic periaortic fat, pericardial fat) derived from computed tomography with serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the soluble VEGF receptor (sFlt-1), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), angiopoietin-2 and its soluble receptor (sTie-2) using multivariable linear regression models in 1806 Framingham Third Generation participants (mean age 44.9 years, 44.5% women). VAT, SAT and periaortic fat were positively associated with VEGF (p=0.004, p<0.0001 and p=0.03, respectively). HGF was positively associated with all assessed fat depots (all p<0.0001). VAT and periaortic fat were weakly associated with sTie-2 (p=0.01 and p=0.03). For HGF, we observed effect modification by sex: associations of VAT, pericardial and periaortic fat with HGF were stronger in women than in men; in women, higher VAT and higher periaortic fat were jointly associated with higher HGF concentrations (p=0.02 and p=0.05, respectively). In women within the highest tertile of VAT, HGF levels increased with higher periaortic fat (p=0.0005; Figure).
Conclusions: We observed associations of several body fat compartments with circulating VEGF and HGF levels. In women, high VAT and high periaortic fat were jointly associated with greater HGF levels. Whether this finding will translate to elevated morbidity in this group warrants further evaluation.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.