Background: Fat deposition is associated with adverse outcomes. Waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio is a simple feasible index to assess fat distribution. Lipoprotein particle composition in relation to WHR and to what extent their association is mediated by insulin sensitivity are less investigated.
Methods: In 504 randomly recruited Flemish (mean age: 48.9 years; women: 51.6%), we analyzed the lipoprotein particle constitutions using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. WHR obesity described a WHR of ≥ 0.85 for women or 0.9 for men. Insulin sensitivity was evaluated by the homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). SCORE-2 risk algorithm was applied to estimate 10-year cardiovascular risk. Statistical methods included multivariable-adjusted linear regression analysis, logistic regression analysis, and mediation analysis.
Results: The prevalence of WHR obesity was 54.6%, approximately 3 times of BMI-determined obesity (19.1%). Individuals with WHR obesity had significantly higher metabolic complications, such as hypertension (57.1%), dyslipidemia (61.8%), and insulin resistance (14.2%). WHR and WHR obesity were positively associated with total very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle concentration, remnant cholesterol, and triglycerides, but were negatively associated with VLDL particle size (P ≤ 0.027), independent of body mass index and other covariates. WHR was inversely associated with total high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particle concentration, whereas WHR obesity was inversely associated with HDL cholesterol (P ≤ 0.039). Neither WHR nor WHR obesity was associated with the concentration of total low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, LDL particle size, and LDL cholesterol (P ≥ 0.089). In the mediation analysis, insulin sensitivity significantly mediated the effect of WHR on total VLDL particle concentration (mediation percentage: 37.0%), remnant cholesterol (47.7%), and HDL cholesterol (41.1%). Individuals with WHR obesity were at increased cardiovascular risk, regardless of LDL cholesterol (P ≤0.028). In WHR obesity, higher total VLDL particle concent36ration and remnant cholesterol, and lower HDL cholesterol were associated with an increased cardiovascular risk (P≤ 0.002).
Conclusions: Upper-body fat deposition was independently associated with an unfavorable lipoprotein profile, and insulin sensitivity significantly mediated this association. LDL cholesterol might underestimate lipid abnormality for people with upper-body obesity and lowering VLDL particles and remnant cholesterol might potentially reduce the residual cardiovascular risk.
Wei, D., Marrachelli, V. G., Melgarejo, J. D., Liao, C. T., Janssens, S., Verhamme, P., ... & Zhang, Z. Y. (2022). Lipoprotein profiles of fat distribution and its association with insulin sensitivity. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 13, 978745. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.978745
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Frontiers in Endocrinology