Abdominal fatness and cerebral white matter hyperintensity

Ki Woong Nam, Hyuktae Kwon, Hyung Min Kwon, Jin Ho Park, Han Yeong Jeong, Sang Hyuck Kim, Su Min Jeong, Hwa Jung Kim, Seung Sik Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although obesity has been proven as a risk factor of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, there have been few studies addressing the association between obesity and cerebral white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume with controversial findings. In this study, we evaluated the relationship between abdominal fat distribution and WMH volume in a neurologically healthy population. We performed an observational study in a consecutive series of subjects who were examined during voluntary health check-ups between January 2006 and December 2013. We directly measured both visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) using abdominal computed tomography. The WMH volumes were also recorded quantitatively. A total of 2504 subjects were included in this study. In multivariate analysis, the relationship between SAT and WMH volume remained significant (β = −0.170, standard error [SE] = 0.065, P =.006) after adjusting for confounding factors. The protective effects of SAT on the WMH volume were more prominent in female participants (β = −0.295, SE = 0.138, P =.033) and in severely obese participants (β = −0.358, SE = 0.167, P =.033). Conclusively, we demonstrated a negative association between SAT and WMH volume in a healthy population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • Adipose tissue
  • Inflammation
  • Leukoaraiosis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Small vessel disease

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