Visceral fat is the pathogenic fat depot associated with diabetes, dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases. Estimation of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) by dual energy-X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a newer technique with less radiation exposure, shorter scanning time, and lower cost. In this study, we attempted to look at relationship between cardiometabolic risk factors and VAT, total body fat percent (TBF%) and anthropometry. We also studied the changes in body composition and metabolic parameters with menopause. The familial resemblance of VAT and TBF% in mother-daughter pair was also compared. This was a cross sectional community study of 300 women (150 postmenopausal mothers and 150 premenopausal daughters). Body composition indices by DXA and metabolic parameters were assessed. The association between DXA-VAT, TBF%, anthropometric measures, and cardiometabolic risk factors were studied by correlation, receiver operating characteristics curves, and logistic regression analysis. VAT indices were significantly higher and lean indices lower in postmenopausal women as compared to premenopausal women. One fourth of postmenopausal women were categorized as metabolically obese normal weight. DXA-VAT was a better predictor of cardiometabolic risk factors as compared to waist circumference, body mass index, and TF% in postmenopausal women (AUC:0.68 vs 0.62, 0.60 & 0.5, respectively), whereas body mass index had a better prediction in premenopausal women(AUC:0.68). VAT area >100 cm² had a significant association with the presence of ≥2 cardiometabolic risk factors (p = 0.04, OR: 2.2, CI:1.0-4.7) in the postmenopausal women. Daughters of the mothers with higher TBF% were found to have a higher TBF% compared to daughters of mothers with normal TBF% (36.2 ± 4.2 vs 32.2 ± 4.4, p = 0.03), similar resemblance was not seen for VAT. The study showed that the VAT increases and lean mass decreases with age and menopause. DXA measured VAT is a better predictor of cardiometabolic risk in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women. Total body fat may have a familial resemblance, but not the VAT which is determined by age, menopause, and probable life style factors.
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