To investigate the association between abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) burden in a population-based sample of adolescents, we used data from 421 adolescents who completed the follow-up examination in the Penn State Children Cohort study. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess abdominal obesity, as measured by android/gynoid fat ratio (A/G ratio), android/whole body fat proportion (A/W proportion), visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous fat (SAT) areas. Continuous metabolic syndrome score (cMetS), calculated as the sum of the age and sex-adjusted standardized residual (Z-score) of five established MetS components, was used to assess the MetS burden. Linear regression models were used to analyze the impact of DXA measures on cMetS components. All models were adjusted for age, race, sex, and general obesity. We found abdominal obesity is significantly associated with increased cMetS. With 1 standard deviation (SD) increase in A/G ratio, A/W proportion, VAT area, and SAT area, cMetS increased by 1.34 (SE=0.17), 1.25 (SE=0.19), 1.67 (SE=0.17), and 1.84 (SE=0.20) units, respectively. At individual component level, strongest association was observed between abdominal obesity and insulin resistance (IR) than lipid-based or blood pressure-based components. VAT and SAT had a stronger impact on IR than android ratio-based DXA measurements. In conclusion, abdominal obesity is associated with higher MetS burden in adolescent population. The association between abdominal obesity and IR measure is the strongest, suggesting the key impact of abdominal obesity on IR in adolescents MetS burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Densitometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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