Background and aims Obesity is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults. We assessed if body fat and abdominal fat are related to clustering of risk factors for CVD in younger children.
Methods Cross-sectional study of 170 (92 boys and 78 girls) children aged 8–11 years, recruited from a population-based cohort. Total fat mass (TBF) and abdominal fat (AFM) were measured by DXA. Total body fat was expressed as TBFs percentage of total body mass (BF%). Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2PEAK)was measured by indirect calorimetry. Blood was sampled and blood pressure (BP), and resting heart rate (HR) were measured and pulse pressure (PP) was calculated. Echocardiography was performed and left atrial diameter (LA) was measured, and left ventricular mass (LVM) and relative wall thickness (RWT) were calculated. Z-scores (Value for the individual-mean value for group)/SD) were calculated. Sum of z-scores for triglycerides and lipoprotein concentrations, systolic and diastolic BP, PP, HR, LVM, LA, RWT and -VO2PEAK were calculated in boys and girls, separately, and used as an indices of clustered risk.
Results Pearson correlations between ln BF% and ln AFM versus indices of clustered risk were in boys (r = 0.58 and 0.59, p < 0.05), and in girls (r = 0.58 and 0.64, p < 0.05). One-way ANOVA analysis indicated significant differences between different tertiles of BF% and AFM. Higher BF% and AFM were associated with higher clustered risk for CVD in both genders (p < 0.001).
Conclusions Both total body fat and abdominal fat were associated with a clustering of CVD risk factors.