Arterial Stiffness Bidirectionally Associated with General, Central Adiposity in Adolescents

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Strategic Alliance Partnership | <b>The Metabolic Institute of America</b>

Data show cfPWV at 17.7 years was independently and directly associated with total fat mass and trunk fat mass at 24.5 years.

Although the detrimental effects of obesity on arterial function and structure has been established in previous research, there is a lack of data investigating the contribution of arterial health during adolescence to the adiposity of young adults.

Led by Andrew O. Agbaje MD, MPH, a team of investigators examined the longitudinal and bi-directional association of carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) with total and trunk fat mass from the ages of 17.7 years - 24.5 years.

They found a bi-directional association between arterial stiffness and general and central adiposity, noting that arterial health may then need to be addressed in the prevention of obesity in young adults.

The study was presented at the The Metabolic Institute of America (TMIOA) 2021 World Congress Insulin Resistance Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease (WCIRDC) meeting this week.

The Study

Study investigators collected data on 3862 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) in the United Kingdom.

They measured cfPWV by ultrasound, while total and trunk fat mass were measured by dual-energy Xray absorptiometry. Additionally, they conducted cross-lagged structural equation models, with adjustments for baseline covariates such as age, sex, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein.

Other covariates included systolic blood pressure, fasting insulin concentration, heart rate, moderate to vigorous physical activity, smoking status, family history of cardiometabolic diseases, lean mass, total or trunk fat mass.

They noted all variables were measured at both ages 17.7 and 24.5 years old.

After performing the study, data show 19.6% of patients were overweight or obese at ages 17.7 years, while 37.2% were obese or overweight at 24.5 years.

Agbaje and colleagues observed cfPWV at 17.7 years led to both an independent and direct association with total fat mass (regression coefficient, 0.05kg, standard error 0.05; P = .001) and trunk fat mass (regression coefficient, 0.04kg, standard error, 0.07; P = .013) at 24.5 years.

In the reverse analysis, baseline total and trunk fat mass were directly and independently associated with follow-up cfPWV.


“Arterial stiffness was bi-directionally associated with general and central adiposity, suggesting that adolescent’s arterial health may be targeted in the prevention of obesity in young adulthood,” investigators wrote.

“Longitudinal and bi-directional associations of arterial stiffness with general and central fat mass from adolescence through young adulthood: The ALSPAC Study,” was published online by WCIRDC 2021.