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An increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol after weight loss intervention is associated with long-term maintenance of reduced visceral abdominal fat



It is generally agreed that excess abdominal fat, in particular visceral abdominal fat (VAF), is related to an increased risk for obesity-related complications. We examined the association between metabolic risk factors and maintaining VAF after weight loss intervention.


A total of 54 postmenopausal, obese women who achieved a VAF loss of at least 10% from their baseline values during a 14-week intervention were enrolled as subjects. Body weight, VAF assessed by CT scans, and metabolic risk factors (that is, blood pressure, lipids and glucose) were measured at baseline (week 0), post-intervention (week 15), and at a 2-year follow-up (week 105). The subjects were divided into two groups according to their changes in VAF between weeks 15 and 105 (follow-up period): (1) VAF gainers (VAF changes >0 cm2, n=28) or (2) VAF maintainers (VAF changes 0 cm2, n=26).


The mean change in VAF of all subjects during the 14-week intervention was −34±16 cm2 (−29.7±12.3%) (P<0.01). Along with this change, improvements (P<0.05) were observed in all metabolic risk factors except for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC). During the follow-up period, there were interactions between the two VAF groups in HDLC, triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (TC)/HDLC ratio (all P<0.01). In particular, the HDLC of VAF maintainers improved, and the value at week 105 exceeded baseline level (P<0.01). However, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, TC and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the VAF maintainers increased (all P<0.05) back to their mean baseline level despite a further decrease in their VAF during the follow-up period (P<0.01).


This study shows that long-term maintenance of VAF after weight loss intervention is associated with improvements in HDLC and TG among obese, postmenopausal women.

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We are grateful to the participants and staff members in the study. The Sodegaura Health Promotion Project, Sodegaura, Chiba, Japan supported this research.

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Matsuo, T., Kato, Y., Murotake, Y. et al. An increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol after weight loss intervention is associated with long-term maintenance of reduced visceral abdominal fat. Int J Obes 34, 1742–1751 (2010).

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  • visceral abdominal fat
  • high-density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • weight maintenance
  • metabolic risk factors
  • weight loss

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