Regional Fat Distribution and Blood Pressure Level and Variability
The Dallas Heart Study
Our aim was to investigate the associations of regional fat distribution with home and office blood pressure (BP) levels and variability. Participants in the Dallas Heart Study, a multiethnic cohort, underwent 5 BP measurements on 3 occasions during 5 months (2 in home and 1 in office) and quantification of visceral adipose tissue, abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue, and liver fat by magnetic resonance imaging, and lower body subcutaneous fat by dual x-ray absorptiometry. The relation of regional adiposity with short-term (within-visit) and long-term (overall visits) mean BP and average real variability was assessed with multivariable linear regression. We have included 2595 participants with a mean age of 44 years (54% women; 48% black), and mean body mass index was 29 kg/m2. Mean systolic BP/diastolic BP was 127/79 mm Hg and average real variability systolic BP was 9.8 mm Hg during 3 visits. In multivariable-adjusted models, higher amount of visceral adipose tissue was associated with higher short-term (both home and office) and long-term mean systolic BP (β[SE]: 1.9[0.5], 2.7[0.5], and 2.1[0.5], respectively; all P<0.001) and with lower long-term average real variability systolic BP (β[SE]: −0.5[0.2]; P<0.05). In contrast, lower body fat was associated with lower short-term home and long-term mean BP (β[SE]: −0.30[0.13] and −0.24[0.1], respectively; both P<0.05). Neither subcutaneous adipose tissue or liver fat was associated with BP levels or variability. In conclusion, excess visceral fat was associated with persistently higher short- and long-term mean BP levels and with lower long-term BP variability, whereas lower body fat was associated with lower short- and long-term mean BP. Persistently elevated BP, coupled with lower variability, may partially explain increased risk for cardiac hypertrophy and failure related to visceral adiposity.
- Received May 17, 2016.
- Revision received May 31, 2016.
- Accepted June 22, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.