It is well known that increased abdominal fat is associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk. Perirenal fat has been recently associated with CV risk in adults. However, studies with children are lacking. We investigated the relationship of perirenal fat and other abdominal fat depots (including preperitoneal, intra-abdominal and subcutaneous fat) with carotid intimamedia thickness (cIMT—a surrogate marker of CV risk) in prepubertal children, so as to identify novel markers that can be easily assessed and used in the early prevention of cardiovascular disease.SUBJECTS/METHODS:
Subjects were 702 asymptomatic prepubertal Caucasian children (418 lean, 142 overweight and 142 obese) who were recruited in a primary care setting. Ultrasound measurements (perirenal, preperitoneal, intra-abdominal and subcutaneous fat and cIMT), clinical (body mass index (BMI) and systolic blood pressure) and metabolic parameters (insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin and serum lipids) were assessed.RESULTS:
Perirenal fat was associated with diverse metabolic and CV risk factors in all the studied subjects. However, in overweight and obese children, perirenal fat was mostly associated with cIMT (P<0.001) and was the only fat depot that showed independent associations with cIMT in multivariate analyses (overweight chidren: β = 0.250, P = 0.003, r2 = 12.8%; obese children: β = 0.254, P = 0.002, r2 = 15.5%) after adjusting for BMI, gender, age and metabolic parameters. Perirenal fat was also the only fat depot that showed independent associations with HMW-adiponectin in obese children (β = - 0.263, P = 0.006, r2 = 22.8%).CONCLUSIONS:
Perirenal fat is the main abdominal fat depot associated with cIMT, especially in overweight and obese children, and may thus represent a helpful parameter for assessing CV risk in the pediatric population.