Periaortic fat and cardiovascular risk: A comparison of high-risk older adults and age-matched healthy controls
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
- Wake Forest University
OBJECTIVE: Fat accumulation around the heart and aorta may impact cardiovascular (CV) health. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic investigation to examine potential associations of these fat depots with risk factors for CV events, which has not been done before. METHODS: Pericardial fat, periaortic fat around the ascending aorta (AA), descending aorta (DA) and aortic arch, and abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat were measured by MRI in older adults with (n = 385, 69 ± 8 years, 52% female) and without (n = 50, 69 ± 8 years, 58% female) risk factors for a CV event. RESULTS: Individuals with CV risk factors exhibited greater fat volumes across all fat depots compared with those without risk factors. In analysis of covariance accounting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, smoking and body mass index (BMI), individuals with risk factors possessed higher epicardial, pericardial, AA, DA and abdominal visceral fat (P < 0.05). When matched one-to-one on age, gender, race/ethnicity and BMI, AA and DA fat were higher in those with versus without CV risk factors (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Older adults with a high risk for CV events have greater periaortic fat than low-risk adults, even after accounting for BMI. More studies are needed to determine whether greater periaortic fat predicts future CV events.
- Aging, Cardiovascular risk, Periaortic fat, Pericardial fat