Aims: The purpose of the present study is to investigate the association of alcohol with visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) distribution and metabolic syndrome (MetS). Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study in 951 healthy male Korean participants who underwent health checkups. We measured the cross-sectional areas of VAT and SAT by computed tomography of the abdomen and performed a study of alcohol consumption based on questionnaire responses and a 24-hour dietary recall assessment. We analyzed the relationship of alcohol consumption with VAT, SAT, and MetS. Results: Alcohol consumption showed a negative association with SAT (β = -18.76, p = 0.047) but a positive association with VAT (β = 17.70, p = 0.037), independent of other factors. The adjusted odds ratios for MetS for those who consumed <7, 7 to <14, 14 to <28, and ≧28 standard drinks per week were 0.99 (0.59-1.68), 1.49 (0.84-2.63), 1.95 (1.10-3.45), and 1.99 (1.07-3.70), respectively (p for linear trend = 0.042). Conclusions: Alcohol consumption is associated with decreased SAT and increased VAT accumulation. Further, alcohol consumption of ≧14 standard drinks is associated with an increased risk of MetS. Light-to-moderate drinking, which has been regarded to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, did not show a protective effect on adipose tissue accumulation.
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