Relationships between adiposity distribution and metabolic health in preconception women in South Africa

Alessandra Prioreschi*, John R. Koethe, David M. Aronoff, Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Shane A. Norris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Adipose tissue is a central regulator of metabolic health and a contributor to systemic inflammation. Patterns of adiposity deposition are important to understand for optimizing health. This study aimed to asses relationships between adiposity deposition and metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers in South African women prior to conception. Methods: Non-pregnant, healthy women (n = 298) were recruited for this cross-sectional study via home visits. Body composition was measured by Dual X-ray Absorptiometry. Inflammation markers C-reactive protein (CRP), alpha1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and blood pressure were scored according to risk. A summative metabolic health risk score was created for women with obesity. Generalized regression models assessed relationships between adiposity deposition and outcomes with adjustment for potential confounders. Results: Obesity was present in 22% of women (mean age = 20.93 years). Fat mass index was associated with inflammation and metabolic health risk (β = 0.58; p < 0.01). Visceral fat, trunk:limb ratio, android:gynoid ratio, body mass index, weight, and waist circumference were positively associated with CRP, AGP, and metabolic health risk (p < 0.01). Weight was associated with Hba1c (β < 0.01; p < 0.05). Participants with obesity and low metabolic health risk had lower fat mass index and visceral fat than participants with obesity and higher metabolic health risk. Conclusions: Black South African women accumulated excess adipose tissue in abdominal regions. While fat mass and body mass were associated with inflammation and metabolic health risk, women with obesity and with lower fat mass index and lower visceral adipose tissue were metabolically protected. Identification of women at risk for metabolic disease preconception could help ensure future healthy pregnancies and prevent transference of risk to offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-509
Number of pages10
JournalObesity Science and Practice
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • DXA
  • obesity
  • preconception
  • women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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