The relationship of body fatness and body fat distribution with microvascular recruitment: The Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study

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INTRODUCTION: Microvascular function has been proposed to link body fatness to CVD and DM2. Current knowledge of these relationships is mainly based on studies in selected populations of extreme phenotypes. Whether these findings can be translated to the general population remains to be investigated.

AIM: To assess the relationship of body fatness and body fat distribution with microvascular function in a healthy population-based cohort.

METHODS: Body fatness parameters were obtained by anthropometry and whole-body dual-X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in 2000 and 2006. Microvascular recruitment (i.e., absolute increase in perfused capillaries after arterial occlusion, using nailfold capillaroscopy) was measured in 2006. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the relationship of (changes in) body fatness and body fat distribution with microvascular recruitment. RESULTS Data were available for 259 participants (116 men). Capillary density was higher in women than in men (difference 7.3/ mm(2); p < 0.05). In the total population, the relationship between total body fatness and microvascular recruitment was positive (β = 0.43; p = 0.002), whereas a central pattern of fat distribution (trunk-over-total fatness) showed a negative relationship (β = -26.2; p = 0.032) with microvascular recruitment. However, no association remained apparent after adjustment for gender. In addition, there was no relationship between 6-year changes in body fatness or fat distribution and microvascular recruitment.

CONCLUSION: Women show higher capillary recruitment values than men. This study does not support a linear relationship between microvascular function and body fatness or body fat distribution within a population-based normal range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-279
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Body Fat Distribution
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Microvessels
  • Netherlands
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Risk Factors

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