Five-year change in visceral adipose tissue quantity in a minority cohort: The IRAS Family Study

  1. Kristen G. Hairston, MD, MPH (kghairst{at},
  2. Ann Scherzinger, PhD2,
  3. Capri Foy, PhD1,
  4. Anthony J. Hanley, PhD3,
  5. Orita McCorkle, BA1,
  6. Steven Haffner, MD, MPH4,
  7. Jill M. Norris, MPH, PhD2,
  8. Michael Bryer-Ash, MD5 and
  9. Lynne E. Wagenknecht, DrPH1
  1. 1Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  2. 2University of Colorado-School of Health Sciences
  3. 3University of Toronto, Nutritional Sciences
  4. 4UT-Health Science Center at San Antonio
  5. 5University of Oklahoma School of Health Sciences


    Objective: To describe 5-year change in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) areas.

    Research Design and Methods: Absolute change in VAT and SAT measured by abdominal CT scans obtained at a five-year interval from African-Americans (N=389) and Hispanic-Americans (N=844), aged 20-69 years, in 10-year age groups.

    Results: Mean five-year increases in VAT areas among women were 18, 7, 4, 0.4, −3 cm2 for African-Americans and 13, 7, 3, 1, −15 cm2 for Hispanics, across the five age decades (trend not significant). Mean five-year increases in SAT areas among women were 88, 46, 19, 17, 14 cm2 for African-Americans and 53, 20, 17, 12, 1 cm2 for Hispanics, across the five age decades (p<0.05 for both). Similar trends observed in men.

    Conclusion: Accumulation of abdominal fat is greatest in young adulthood. These data may be useful in identifying subgroups at risk of type 2 diabetes.


      • Received February 19, 2009.
      • Accepted May 13, 2009.