Visceral Fat Associated With Higher Mortality Rates

It is already known that both excess visceral fat and the lifestyle choices needed to gain it - being sedentary and a high calorie diet - correlate with increased risk of many age-related conditions. Going beyond associations to matters of causation, it is worth noting that animal studies have shown that surgical removal of visceral fat increases life expectancy.

These recently published open access study results add to the existing stack of reasons to care about your weight and lifestyle choices:

The purpose of this study was to determine the association between visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and all-cause mortality. The sample included 1089 white men and women 18-84 years of age from the Pennington Center Longitudinal Study, a prospective cohort of participants assessed between 1995 and 2008, and followed for mortality until 31 December 2009. Abdominal VAT was measured [using] computed tomography. There were 27 deaths during an average of 9.1 years of follow-up.

Abdominal VAT was significantly associated with mortality after adjustment for age, sex and year of examination. The association was stronger after the inclusion of abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), smoking status, alcohol consumption and leisure-time physical activity as additional covariates. ... Abdominal SAT was not associated with mortality, either alone or in combination with VAT and other covariates. The results support the assertion that abdominal VAT is an important therapeutic target for obesity reduction efforts.


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