Effects of visceral adipose tissue reduction on CVD risk factors independent of weight loss: The Look AHEAD study

Anawin Sanguankeo, Mariana Lazo, Sikarin Upala, Frederick L. Brancati, Susanne Bonekamp, Henry J. Pownall, Ashok Balasubramanyam, Jeanne M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine if the reduction of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volume by lifestyle intervention improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) independent of weight loss amount. Design: Ancillary study of randomized-controlled trial. Setting: Data analysis using multivariable regression models. Participants: Participants of the Look AHEAD (Action for HEAlth in Diabetes) Fatty Liver Ancillary Study. Main outcome measures: Correlations between changes in VAT and in CVD risk factors, while adjusting for weight loss and treatment (intensive lifestyle intervention [ILI] vs. diabetes support and education [DSE]). Results: Of 100 participants analyzed, 52% were women, and 36% were black, with a mean age of 61.1 years. In the DSE group, mean weight and VAT changed by 0.1 % (p=0.90) and 4.3% (p=0.39), respectively. In the ILI group, mean weight and VAT decreased by 8.0% (p<0.001) and 7.7% (p=0.01), respectively. Across both groups, mean weight decreased by 3.6% (p<0.001), and mean VAT decreased by 1.2% (p=0.22); the decrease in VAT was correlated with the increase in HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C; R=−0.37; p=0.03). There were no correlations between changes in VAT and blood pressure, triglycerides, LDL-C, glucose, or HbA1c. After adjusting for age, race, gender, baseline metabolic values, fitness, and treatment group, changes in HDL-C were not associated with changes in VAT, while weight changes were independently associated with decrease in glucose, HbA1c, and increase in HDL-C. Conclusions: VAT reduction was not correlated with improvements of CVD risk factors in a sample of overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes after adjusting for weight loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrine Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • VAT
  • visceral adipose tissue
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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