Impact of Abdominal Obesity on Proximal and Distal Aorta Wall Thickness in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study


Objective: Abdominal obesity and wall thickness of the central arteries have been associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Despite the higher burden of overweight and cardiovascular disease among African Americans, limited data are available on the association of abdominal obesity with aortic wall thickness in African Americans. We assessed the cross-sectional and the longitudinal associations of abdominal obesity with aortic intima-media thickness (aIMT) in a cohort of African Americans from the Jackson Heart Study. Methods: Data on aIMT and repeated measures of waist circumference (WC) and waist to height ratio from 1,572 participants, as well as on abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and aIMT from 1,223 participants, were analyzed. aIMT was measured at proximal ascending aorta (PA-aIMT), proximal descending aorta (PD-aIMT), and distal aorta (bifurcation) using cardiac magnetic resonance. SAT and VAT were measured using computerized tomography. Results: WC and WHtR were longitudinally associated with PA-aIMT and PD-aIMT; SAT and VAT were associated with PA-aIMT only. Only WC was associated with distal aIMT. Conclusions: Abdominal obesity measures are associated with increased proximal aIMT in adult African Americans. Only WC is associated with wall thickness in all three segments of the aorta.

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