Low fitness is associated with abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation independent of BMI

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Abstract

Objective Up to 30% of obese individuals are metabolically healthy. Metabolically healthy obese (MHO) individuals are characterized by having low abdominal adiposity, low inflammation level and low risk of developing metabolic comorbidity. In this study, we hypothesize that cardiorespiratory fitness (fitness) is a determinant factor for the MHO individuals and aim to investigate the associations between fitness, abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation within different BMI categories. Method Data from 10,976 individuals from the general population, DANHES 2007–2008, on waist circumference, fitness and C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were analysed using multiple linear and median quantile regressions. Results In men, an inverse association between fitness (+5 mL min-1 kg-1) and waist circumference (-1.45 cm; 95% CI: -1.55 to -1.35 cm; p<0.001), and an inverse association between fitness (+5 mL min-1 kg-1) and hsCRP (-0.22 mg/L; 95% CI: -0.255 to -0.185 mg/L; p<0.001) was found, all independent of BMI. Similarly in women, an inverse association between fitness (+5 mL min-1 kg-1) and waist circumference (-1.15 cm; 95% CI: -1.25 to -1.0 cm; p<0.001), and an inverse association between fitness (+5 mL min-1 kg-1) and hsCRP (-0.26 mg/L; 95% CI: -0.3 to -0.22 mg/L; p<0.001) was found, all independent of BMI. Additionally, significant positive associations between waist circumference and hsCRP were found for both men and women, independently of BMI. Conclusion Fitness was found to be inversely associated with both abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation independent of BMI. These data suggest that, in spite of BMI, high fitness levels lead to a reduction in abdominal fat mass and low-grade inflammation.

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Wedell-Neergaard, A. S., Eriksen, L., Grønbæk, M., Pedersen, B. K., Krogh-Madsen, R., & Tolstrup, J. (2018). Low fitness is associated with abdominal adiposity and low-grade inflammation independent of BMI. PLoS ONE, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190645

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