K. Main, S. Peterson, J. Peterson, W. Repovich, & E. Hilberg

Linfield College, McMinnville, OR; Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Cardiovascular (CV) disease remains the number one cause of death in the world despite being largely preventable. Many risk factors have been identified including high levels of visceral fat. The use of ultrasound has made it possible to measure subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) separately. PURPOSE: To determine the relationship between the Framingham CV risk profile, SCAT, VAT, and physical activity (PA) levels in adults. METHODS: CV risk factors were evaluated in 46 participants ranging in age from 19-65. To determine the Framingham CV Risk Score, BMI, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein levels were measured and combined into a score. Using ultrasound, a scan of the waist was conducted. The wand was placed 1 cm to the right of the umbilicus. A 10-cm scan was completed by drawing the wand from the umbilicus toward the right hip. The amounts of SCAT and VAT were determined from the scan when two researchers agreed upon the measurement. Minutes of moderate to vigorous PA were reported from a questionnaire. Pearson Correlations were conducted to determine the relationships between all variables tested at an alpha level of p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: There were significant, moderate positive correlations between VAT amounts and the Framingham risk profile (r=0.445, p=0.002) as well as the amount of SCAT (r=0.509, p=0.00). There was a significant negative moderate correlation between the number of minutes of moderate to vigorous PA reported and the Framingham risk profile (r=-0.440, p=0.002), the amount of VAT measured (r=-0.315, p=0.035), and the amount of SCAT measured (r=-0.301, p=0.045). There was also a significant, negative correlation between the Framingham risk profile and the SCAT:VAT ratio (r=-0.348, p=0.018). CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study demonstrated a moderate correlation between the amount of VAT present and CV risk factors, suggesting it may be a viable predictor of future CV disease. Further research is needed to strengthen the use of the VAT measurement in the assessment of CV disease.

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