Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical and Clinical Genetics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Section for Oncology, Radiation Physics, Radiology and Urology
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Section for the Health of Women and Children
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematical Statistics
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
|Subject categories||Medical and Health Sciences|
Objective. The amount of visceral adipose tissue is a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome. It is unclear how body mass index (BMI) changes during childhood and adolescence predict adult fat distribution. We hypothesized that there are critical periods during development for the prediction of adult subcutaneous and visceral fat mass by BMI changes during childhood and adolescence. Research Design and Methods. Detailed growth charts were retrieved for the men participating in the population-based Gothenburg Osteoporosis and Obesity Determinants (GOOD) study (n=612). Body composition was analysed using Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry and adipose tissue areas using abdominal computed tomography at 18-20 years of age. Results. The main finding in the present study was that subjects with increases in BMI Z-score of >1 SD during adolescence had, independent of prepubertal BMI, both larger subcutaneous (+138%; p<0.001) and visceral adipose tissue areas (+91%; p< 0.001) than subjects with unchanged BMI Z-score. In contrast, subjects with increases in BMI Z-score of >1 SD during late childhood had larger amount adult subcutaneous adipose tissue (+83%; p< 0.001) than subjects with unchanged BMI Z-score, but unaffected amount of visceral adipose tissue. BMI changes during adolescence predict both visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of the abdomen while BMI changes during late childhood predict only the subcutaneous adipose tissue. Conclusions. The amount of visceral adipose tissue in young adult men was associated with BMI changes specifically during adolescence, while the amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue was associated with BMI changes during both late childhood and adolescence.