Visceral adiposity index and 10-year cardiovascular disease incidence: The ATTICA study

G. M. Kouli, D. B. Panagiotakos, I. Kyrou, E. N. Georgousopoulou, C. Chrysohoou, C. Tsigos, D. Tousoulis, C. Pitsavos

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Background and aims Visceral adiposity index (VAI) has been proposed as a marker of visceral adipose tissue accumulation/dysfunction. Our aim was to evaluate potential associations between the VAI and the 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence. Methods and results During 2001–2002, 3042 Greek adults (1514 men; age: ≥18 years) without previous CVD were recruited into the ATTICA study, whilst the 10-year study follow-up was performed in 2011–2012, recording the fatal/non-fatal CVD incidence in 2020 (1010 men) participants. The baseline VAI scores for these participants were calculated based on anthropometric and lipid variables, while VAI tertiles were extracted for further analyses. During the study follow-up a total of 317 CVD events (15.7%) were observed. At baseline, the participants' age and the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and metabolic syndrome increased significantly across the VAI tertiles. After adjusting for multiple confounders, VAI exhibited a significantly independent positive association with the 10-year CVD incidence (OR = 1.05, 95%CI: 1.01, 1.10), whereas the association of the body mass index (HR = 1.03, 95%CI: 0.99, 1.08), or the waist circumference (HR = 1.01, 95%CI: 0.99, 1.02) was less prominent. Sex-specific analysis further showed that VAI remained significantly predictive of CVD in men alone (HR = 1.06, 95%CI: 1.00, 1.11) but not in women (HR = 1.06, 95%CI: 0.96, 1.10). Conclusions Our findings show for the first time in a large-sample, long-term, prospective study in Europe that the VAI is independently associated with elevated 10-year CVD risk, particularly in men. This suggests that the VAI may be utilized as an additional indicator of long-term CVD risk for Caucasian/Mediterranean men without previous CVD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-889
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


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