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The relationships between intra-abdominal echogenicity, cardiometabolic risk factors and physical performance in obese children


While the abdominal adipose tissue has been identified as an important pathomarker for the cardiometabolic syndrome in adults, the relationships between the cardiometabolic risk factors and abdominal adipose morphology or physical performance levels have not been examined in children with obesity. Therefore, the specific aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between risk factors (BMI and physical activity levels and abdominal fat layers including subcutaneous, intra-abdominal preperitoneal and mesenteric fat thickness in children with obesity. 30 children with obesity (mean±SD = 10.0±4.5 yrs; 9 girls; BMI > 20) underwent physical performance (curl-ups, sit and reach, push-ups, and a 400-m run), ultrasound measurement of thickness of fat composition of the abdomen, blood pressure, oxygen consumption. Pearson correlation analysis showed significant correlations, ranging from -0.523- 0.898 between the intra-abdominal adipose tissue thickness, cardiometabolic risk factors (BMI, blood pressure, heart rate), and the curl-up physical performance test. In conclusion, the present study provides a compelling evidence that the intra-abdominal adipose tissue morphological characteristics were associated with BMI, physical performance, and most importantly cardiometabolic risk factors (blood pressure and heart rate), which eventually contribute to the development of cardiometabolic syndrome in adulthood.