A low sympathoadrenal activity is associated with body weight gain and development of central adiposity in pima indian men

James B. Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate the possible role of impaired sympathetic nervous system and/or adrenal medullary function in the etiology of human obesity, we studied 64 Pima Indian men (28 ± 6 years, 101 ± 25 kg, 34 ± 9% body fat, mean ± SD) in whom sympathoadrenal function was estimated at baseline by measurements of 24-hour urinary norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (Epi) excretion rates under weight-maintenance conditions. Body weight, body composition (hydrodensitometry), and body fat distribution (waist-to-thigh circumference ratio, W/T) were measured at baseline and follow-up. Follow-up data were available on 44 subjects who gained on average 8.4 ± 9.5 kg over 3.3 ± 2.1 years. In these subjects, baseline NE excretion rate, adjusted for its determinants (i.e., fat free mass, fat mass, and W/T), correlated negatively with bodyweight gain (r=-0.38; p=0.009). Baseline Epi excretion rate correlated negatively with changes in W/T (r=-0.44; p=0.003). In conclusion, our data show for the first time that a low sympathetic nervous system activity is associated with body weight gain in humans. Also, a low activity of the adrenal medulla is associated with the development of central adiposity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-347
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Research
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Adrenal medullary function
  • Body fat distribution
  • Body weight gain
  • Sympathetic nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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