30-year developmental patterns of body fat distribution

The AGHLS-team published research on body fatness patterns and vascular properties in Nutrition and Diabetes:

The relationship between 30-year developmental patterns of body fat and body fat distribution and its vascular properties: the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study.

Introduction: Although body fat and body fat distribution are known to be related to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), it is unknown whether specific 30-year developmental patterns of body fat are associated with CVDs. This study examines the existence of distinct developmental patterns of total fat measured by the sum of four skinfolds (S4SFs) and body fat distribution measured by the skinfold thickness ratio (SFratio), and relates these patterns to micro- and macrovascular functions.

Methods: In 2006, 259 apparently healthy subjects were examined on micro- and macrovascular functions, using video microscopy and carotid ultrasound sonography. Body fat, using both S4SFs and SFratio, was measured for 10 times over 30 years, from 13 years onwards. Latent class growth analyses (LCGA) were used to obtain distinct developmental patterns of S4SFs and SFratio. This is a data-drive hypothesis-generating approach and could possibly give a new perspective on body fatness over time. In addition, a mixed-method approach is used to obtain individual growth parameters. Linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship of these patterns and individual growth parameters with micro- and macrovascular functions.

Results: LCGA identified normal and unfavourable developmental patterns in S4SFs and SFratio. Both men and women with an unfavourable developmental pattern of S4SFs showed impaired carotid compliance (β=-0.216, P=0.004 and β=-0.109, P=0.039, respectively), carotid distensibility (β=-5.078, P=0.001 and β=-5.118, P<0.001, respectively) and Young’s elastic modulus (β=0.066, P=0.065 and β=0.107, P<0.001, respectively). In contrast, no relationship for microvascular function with developmental patterns of S4SFs was found. Developmental patterns of the SFratio were associated with neither measures of micro- nor macrovascular functions. No associations were using the individual growth parameters.

Conclusions: For macrovascular function, there is a relationship of 30-year developmental patterns of S4SFs, whereas no such relationship was found for the 30-year developmental patterns of S4SFs or SFratio with microvascular function.

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