Comparison of associations of DXA and CT visceral adipose tissue measures with insulin resistance, lipid levels, and inflammatory markers
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Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) measured by computed tomography (CT) is related to insulin resistance, lipids, and serum inflammatory markers. Our objective was to compare the strength of the associations of VAT measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA-VAT) and CT (CT-VAT) with insulin resistance, serum lipids, and serum markers of inflammation. For 1117 men aged 65 and older enrolled in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study, the cross-sectional associations of DXA-VAT and CT-VAT with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (homa2ir), C-reactive protein, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were estimated with regression models and compared using a Hausman test. Adjusted for age and body mass index, DXA-VAT was moderately associated with homa2ir (effect size 0.38, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.28-0.47) and modestly associated with HDL cholesterol (DXA effect size -0.29, 95% CI: -0.38 to -0.21). These associations were significantly greater than those for CT-VAT with homa2ir (0.30, 95% CI: 0.24-0.37; p value for effect size difference 0.03) and CT-VAT with HDL cholesterol (-0.22, 95% CI: -0.29 to -0.15; p value for difference 0.005). Neither DXA-VAT nor CT-VAT was associated with C-reactive protein after adjustment for age and body mass index (DXA-VAT effect size 0.14, 95% CI: -0.04 to 0.32; CT-VAT effect size 0.08, 95% CI: -0.08 to 0.25; p value for difference 0.35). DXA-VAT has similar or greater associations with insulin resistance and HDL cholesterol as does CT-VAT in older men, confirming the concurrent validity of DXA-VAT. Investigations of how well DXA measurements of VAT predict incident cardiovascular disease events are warranted.
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