Summaries for Patients |

Fat Content Inside the Abdomen Helps Predict Whether Japanese Americans Develop Hypertension FREE

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

The summary below is from the full report titled “Visceral Adiposity Is an Independent Predictor of Incident Hypertension in Japanese Americans.” It is in the 15 June 2004 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 140, pages 992-1000). The authors are T. Hayashi, E.J. Boyko, D.L. Leonetti, M.J. McNeely, L. Newell-Morris, S.E. Kahn, and W.Y. Fujimoto.

Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(12):I-17. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-140-12-200406150-00002
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Previous studies suggest that people with expanded waists (central or abdominal obesity) have increased risks for high blood pressure. Some of these studies looked at people at a single point in time. Such studies cannot show how often obese patients become hypertensive later in life and whether the obesity precedes hypertension. The results of prospective studies, which follow people with and without expanded waists over a period of years, are mixed. Some experts think that people with large amounts of fat inside their abdomen (around the internal organs or viscera) rather than just under the skin are at increased risk for high blood pressure. Computed tomography (CT) scans detect fat both inside the abdomen and under the skin. No prospective studies use CT scans to measure fat, and, therefore, we cannot determine whether the fat inside the abdomen is really the fat that increases the risk for hypertension.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To learn whether a large amount of fat inside the abdomen predicts hypertension in persons who are followed up over several years.

Who was studied?

300 second- or third-generation Japanese Americans, age 34 to 74 years, with normal blood pressure.

How was the study done?

Participants with normal blood pressure were selected from a group of people who had volunteered to take part in a study called the Japanese American Community Diabetes Study between 1983 and 1988. All had blood tests to measure glucose and insulin levels, and all answered questions about exercise, smoking, and alcohol-drinking habits. Weight and waist circumference were measured, and CT scans measured the amount of fat beneath the skin and in the abdomen. Participants were then followed for up to 11 years to see who developed hypertension.

What did the researchers find?

Almost 1 in 3 persons (92 of 300) developed hypertension. Compared with those having the least fat inside the abdomen, those with the largest amounts were more than 4 times more likely to be hypertensive at follow-up. This finding held up after adjustments for many other factors, such as age, sex, body weight, exercise, and smoking habits and glucose and insulin levels. Analyses that looked at many measures of fat showed that no other measures—even total fat and waist size—predicted hypertension.

What were the limitations of the study?

Only Japanese Americans took part in the study. The findings might not apply to other ethnic groups. The study does not explain why a large amount of visceral fat increases the risk for hypertension. Amounts of fat were measured only at the start of the study and could have changed over time.

What are the implications of the study?

Japanese Americans who have large amounts of visceral fat more often develop hypertension than do those who have small or normal amounts of visceral fat.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Related Articles
Related Point of Care
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.