Objective It is unclear why despite a comparable cardiometabolic risk profile, "metabolically benign" overweight/obese individuals show an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease compared to normal weight individuals. Design and Methods In cross-sectional analyses, we compared levels of ectopic fat (epicardial, pericardial, and hepatic fat) and adipokines (leptin, soluble leptin receptor, and high molecular weight [HMW] adiponectin) among metabolically benign (MBO) and at-risk overweight/obese (ARO), and metabolically benign normal weight (MBNW) women, screened for the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study. We defined "metabolically benign" with ≤ 1, and "at-risk" with ≥2 components of the metabolic syndrome. Results Compared to MBO women, ARO women had significantly elevated odds of being in the top tertile of epicardial fat (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.04-2.99), hepatic fat (OR: 1.90, 95% CI:1.12-3.24) and leptin (OR: 2.15, 95% CI: 1.23-3.76), and the bottom tertile of HMW-adiponectin (OR: 2.90, 95% CI: 1.62-5.19). Compared to MBNW women, MBO women had significantly higher odds of being in the top tertile of epicardial fat (OR: 5.17, 95% CI: 3.22-8.29), pericardial fat (OR: 9.27, 95% CI: 5.52-15.56) and hepatic fat (OR: 2.72, 95% CI: 1.77-4.19) and the bottom tertile of HMW adiponectin levels (OR: 2.51, 95% CI: 1.60-3.94). Conclusions Levels of ectopic fat and the adverse adipokine profile increase on a continuum of BMI, suggesting that the metabolically benign phenotype may be a transient state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics