Islamabad, Feb 16: Researchers have found that abdominal fat may either cause or relate to the cause of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
People who are genetically at a greater risk of having a higher waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for body mass index are likely to have an increased risk of developing these conditions.
Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study to investigate whether being genetically inclined to have an increased waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) adjusted for BMI (a measure of abdominal fat) was linked to cardiometabolic traits (such as lipids, glucose, insulin, and systolic blood pressure), and type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Analysis did show that being genetically predisposed to a higher WHR adjusted for BMI was connected with increased levels of quantitative risk factors, including lipids, glucose, insulin, and systolic blood pressure, and a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
Secondly, the findings suggest that the distribution of body fat, beyond BMI measurement, could partly explain the disparity in risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease that is reported in both individuals and subpopulations.
“For example, increased abdominal adiposity at a given BMI has been proposed as an explanation for the excess risk of coronary heart disease observed in South Asians,” the authors explain. Similarly, greater abdominal adipose tissue at a given BMI has been proposed to underlie the excess risk of coronary heart disease at a given BMI among men compared with women,” they add.
Lastly, WHR adjusted for BMI may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for the reduction of abdominal fat and decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.
“Although a substantial focus of drug development has been toward therapeutics to reduce overall adiposity, there has been little effort toward the development of therapies that modify body fat distribution to reduce abdominal adiposity,” say the authors. Kathiresan and team conclude:
“These results provide evidence supportive of a causal association between abdominal adiposity and the development of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.”