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J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(4), 527;

Associations of Adiposity and Diet Quality with Serum Ceramides in Middle-Aged Adults with Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
Office of Statistics, West Virginia University, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, Morgantown, WV 26506-6108, USA
Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomarkers for Heart Disease)
PDF [770 KB, uploaded 17 April 2019]


Rates of adverse cardiovascular events have increased among middle-aged adults. Elevated ceramides have been proposed as a risk factor for cardiovascular events. Diet quality and weight status are inversely associated with several traditional risk factors; however, the relationship to ceramides is less clear. This study aimed to determine associations of adiposity and diet quality with circulating ceramides in middle-aged adults (n = 96). Diet quality was estimated using the Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015). Serum ceramide concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. A ceramide risk score was determined based on ceramides C16:0, C18:0, and C24:1 and their ratios to C24:0. Participants who were classified as at ‘moderate risk’ compared to ‘lower-risk’ based on a ceramide risk score had significantly higher body mass index (BMI) values, as well as higher rates of elevated fibrinogen levels, metabolic syndrome, and former smoking status. BMI was positively associated with the ceramide C18:0 (R2 = 0.31, p < 0.0001), the ratio between C18:0/C24:0 ceramides (R2 = 0.30, p < 0.0001), and the ceramide risk score (R2 = 0.11, p < 0.009). Total HEI-2015 scores (R2 = 0.42, p = 0.02), higher intakes of vegetables (R2 = 0.44, p = 0.02) and whole grains (R2 = 0.43, p = 0.03), and lower intakes of saturated fats (R2 = 0.43, p = 0.04) and added sugar (R2 = 0.44, p = 0.01) were associated with lower C22:0 values. These findings suggest that circulating ceramides are more strongly related to adiposity than overall diet quality. Studies are needed to determine if improvements in weight status result in lower ceramides and ceramide risk scores. View Full-Text
Keywords: diet quality; ceramides; obesity; cardiovascular risk; healthy eating index diet quality; ceramides; obesity; cardiovascular risk; healthy eating index

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Drazba, M.A.; Holásková, I.; Sahyoun, N.R.; Ventura Marra, M. Associations of Adiposity and Diet Quality with Serum Ceramides in Middle-Aged Adults with Cardiovascular Risk Factors. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 527.

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