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Open AccessArticle

Sex- and Age-Related Differences in the Contribution of Ultrasound-Measured Visceral and Subcutaneous Abdominal Fat to Fatty Liver Index in Overweight and Obese Caucasian Adults

1
Department of Food, International Center for the Assessment of Nutritional Status (ICANS), Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS), University of Milan, Via Sandro Botticelli 21, 20133 Milan, Italy
2
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Liver Research Canter, 34149 Basovizza, Trieste, Italy
3
Department of Oncology and Hemato-Oncology, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
4
Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, Lab of Nutrition and Obesity Research, 20145 Milan, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 3008; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11123008
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 4 December 2019 / Published: 9 December 2019
Differences in body fat distribution may be a reason for the sex-, age-, and ethnicity-related differences in the prevalence of fatty liver disease (FL). This study aimed to evaluate the sex- and age-related differences in the contribution of visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) abdominal fat, measured by ultrasound, to fatty liver index (FLI) in a large sample of overweight and obese Caucasian adults, and to identify the VAT and SAT cut-off values predictive of high FL risk. A cross-sectional study on 8103 subjects was conducted. Anthropometrical measurements were taken and biochemical parameters measured. VAT and SAT were measured by ultrasonography. FLI was higher in men and increased with increasing age, VAT, and SAT. The sex*VAT, age*VAT, sex*SAT, and age*SAT interactions negatively contributed to FLI, indicating a lower VAT and SAT contribution to FLI in men and in the elderly for every 1 cm of increment. Because of this, sex- and age-specific cut-off values for VAT and SAT were estimated. In conclusion, abdominal adipose tissue depots are associated with FLI, but their contribution is sex- and age-dependent. Sex- and age-specific cut-off values of ultrasound-measured VAT and SAT are suggested, but they need to be validated in external populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: fatty liver disease; fatty liver index; visceral adipose tissue; subcutaneous adipose tissue; obesity; ultrasonography fatty liver disease; fatty liver index; visceral adipose tissue; subcutaneous adipose tissue; obesity; ultrasonography
MDPI and ACS Style

Leone, A.; Battezzati, A.; Bedogni, G.; Vignati, L.; Vanzulli, A.; De Amicis, R.; Foppiani, A.; Bertoli, S. Sex- and Age-Related Differences in the Contribution of Ultrasound-Measured Visceral and Subcutaneous Abdominal Fat to Fatty Liver Index in Overweight and Obese Caucasian Adults. Nutrients 2019, 11, 3008.

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