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      Whole-Body MRI and Ethnic Differences in Adipose Tissue and Skeletal Muscle Distribution in Overweight Black and White Adolescent Boys

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          It is unclear whether ethnic differences exist in adipose tissue (AT) and skeletal muscle (SM) distribution in black and white youth. Investigation into the pattern of AT and SM distribution in black versus white youth may provide insight into the previously reported health disparities between these ethnicities. Therefore, we examined total and regional AT and SM in overweight black and white boys. The study sample included overweight black ( n = 19) and white ( n = 21) boys (11–18 yr, BMI ≥ 85th) whose body composition was evaluated using whole-body MRI. Despite similar age, Tanner stage, and BMI, black boys had significantly ( P < .05) less visceral AT than white boys and more ( P < .05) total and lower-body subcutaneous AT (SAT) in both absolute (kg) and relative (%) terms. There was a main effect ( P < .05) of ethnicity on the relationship between total and regional AT, such that for a given amount of total body AT (kg), black boys had a greater ( P < .05) lower-body SAT and less visceral AT than their white peers. For a given amount of total SM, black boys had more ( P < .05) SM in the thigh. Compared with overweight white boys, overweight black boys have less visceral fat, more subcutaneous fat, and more thigh skeletal muscle.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Quantification of adipose tissue by MRI: relationship with anthropometric variables.

          This study had two objectives: 1) to establish magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a tool for measuring total and regional adipose tissue (AT) distribution in humans and 2) to assess the relationship between selected anthropometric variables and MRI-measured AT. Twenty-seven healthy men varying in age [40.8 +/- 14.5 (SD) yr], body mass index (28.5 +/- 4.8), and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR, 0.96 +/- 0.07) participated in the study. Total AT volume was determined using a linear interpolation of AT areas obtained on consecutive slices (n = 41) taken from head to toe (10-mm thickness, 50-mm centers). The mean change for repeated measures of total AT volume was 2.9% (range 0.9-4.3%). Large interindividual differences were observed for total AT volume (6.9-59.3 liters), subcutaneous AT (6.3-49.8 liters), and visceral AT (0.5-8.5 liters). Visceral AT represented 18.3% of the total AT. The single best predictor of total adiposity was waist circumference (R2 = 0.92). For visceral AT volume, WHR was the strongest anthropometric correlate (r = 0.85, P less than 0.01). When controlled for age and adiposity, however, WHR explained only 12% of the variation in absolute visceral AT and less than 1% of the variation in visceral-to-subcutaneous ratio. Age was a better predictor of visceral-to-subcutaneous ratio than level of adiposity or WHR. The results of this study demonstrate that MRI offers a reliable measure of regional and total AT distribution in humans and, thus, is of value as a research tool.
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            Adipose tissue in muscle: a novel depot similar in size to visceral adipose tissue.

            The manner in which fat depot volumes and distributions, particularly the adipose tissue (AT) between the muscles, vary by race is unknown. The objective was to quantify a previously unstudied and novel intermuscular AT (IMAT) depot and subcutaneous AT, visceral AT (VAT), and total-body skeletal muscle mass in healthy sedentary African American (AA), Asian, and white adults by whole-body magnetic resonance imaging. IMAT is the AT between muscles and within the boundary of the muscle fascia. Analyses were conducted on 227 women [AA (n = 79): body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)), 29.0 +/- 5.5; age, 45.7 +/- 16.9 y; Asian (n = 38): BMI, 21.7 +/- 2.9; age, 47.2 +/- 19.9 y; whites (n = 110): BMI, 24.9 +/- 5.4; age, 43.7 +/- 16.2 y]) and 111 men [AA (n = 39): BMI, 25.6 +/- 3.2; age, 45.5 +/- 18.8 y; Asian (n = 13): BMI, 24.9 +/- 2.5; age, 45.6 +/- 25.0 y; white (n = 59): BMI, 25.8 +/- 3.8; age 44.5 +/- 16.3 y]. IMAT depots were not significantly different in size between race groups at low levels of adiposity; however, with increasing adiposity, AAs had a significantly greater increment in the proportion of total AT (TAT) than did the whites and Asians (58, 46, and 44 g IMAT/kg TAT, respectively; P = 0.001). VAT depots were not significantly different in size at low levels of adiposity but, with increasing adiposity, VAT accumulation was greater than IMAT accumulation in the Asians and whites; no significant differences were observed in AAs. Race differences in AT distribution extend to IMAT, a depot that may influence race-ethnicity differences in dysglycemia.
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              Race, Visceral Adipose Tissue, Plasma Lipids, and Lipoprotein Lipase Activity in Men and Women: The Health, Risk Factors, Exercise Training, and Genetics (HERITAGE) Family Study

              Abdominal obesity is associated with numerous metabolic alterations, such as hypertriglyceridemia and low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. However, compared with abdominally obese white individuals, abdominally obese black individuals have been characterized by higher plasma HDL cholesterol levels, suggesting that the impact of abdominal fat accumulation on the lipoprotein-lipid profile may differ among ethnic groups. Therefore, we have compared the associations between body fatness, visceral adipose tissue (AT) accumulation, and metabolic risk variables in a sample of 247 white men and 240 white women versus a sample of 93 black men and 143 black women. Although no difference in mean total body fatness was found between the 2 race groups, white men had higher levels of visceral AT than did black men (P<0.001). Despite the fact that black women had a greater body fat content than did white women, black women had levels of visceral AT that were similar to those of white women, suggesting a lower susceptibility to visceral obesity in black women. This lower accumulation of visceral AT in blacks was accompanied by significantly reduced apolipoprotein B concentrations and ratios of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol as well as higher plasma HDL cholesterol levels (P<0.05) compared with those values in whites. Irrespective of sex, higher postheparin plasma hepatic lipase (HL) and lower lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activities were found in whites, resulting in an HL/LPL ratio that was twice as high in whites as in blacks (P<0.005). Although differences in lipoprotein-lipid levels were noted between whites and blacks, results from multiple regression analyses revealed that after control for morphometric and metabolic variables of the study (body fat mass, visceral AT, LPL, HL, and age), ethnicity had, per se, only a minor contribution to the variance in plasma lipoprotein levels. Thus, our results suggest that the higher plasma HDL cholesterol levels and the generally more cardioprotective plasma lipoprotein profile found in abdominally obese black versus white individuals are explained, at least to a certain extent, by a lower visceral AT deposition and a higher plasma LPL activity in black individuals.

                Author and article information

                J Obes
                Journal of Obesity
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                20 June 2011
                : 2011
                1Division of Weight Management and Wellness, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Faculty Pavilion Sixth Floor (6102), 400 45th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, USA
                2School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada M3J 1P3
                3Magnetic Resonance Research Center, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
                4Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes Mellitus, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Gianluca Iacobellis

                Copyright © 2011 SoJung Lee et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Nutrition & Dietetics


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