This study examined the associations of central adiposity gain from midchildhood to early adolescence with cardiometabolic health markers in early adolescence.
A total of 620 participants were studied in Project Viva. In midchildhood (mean age = 7.8 years) and early adolescence (12.9 years), waist circumference and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry-measured visceral adipose tissue, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, and trunk fat were obtained. Central adiposity gain was calculated as change per year between visits. Cardiometabolic health markers, including blood pressure, lipids, markers of insulin resistance, inflammation, and adipokines, were collected in early adolescence.
Greater waist circumference gain was associated with higher log triglycerides (β 0.07 mg/dL; 95% CI: 0.02-0.13), log alanine aminotransferase (0.07 U/L; 95% CI: 0.03-0.12), log high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (0.43 mg/L; 95% CI: 0.28-0.58), and other cardiometabolic markers in early adolescence. Directly measured central adiposity gains were associated with higher systolic blood pressure z score in early adolescence (visceral adipose tissue [0.13 SD units; 95% CI: 0.04-0.23], subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue [0.18 SD units; 95% CI: 0.04-0.31], and trunk fat [0.21 SD units; 95% CI: 0.06-0.36]). These associations were independent of baseline and change in total adiposity from midchildhood to early adolescence.
Monitoring central adiposity gain may enable identification and intervention in children vulnerable to developing cardiometabolic health risks.