Leg and arm adiposity is inversely associated with diastolic hypertension in young and middle-aged United States adults

Aayush Visaria, David Lo, Pranay Maniar, Bhoomi Dave, Parag Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: We sought to determine the association between appendicular adiposity and hypertension, with the purpose of better understanding the role of body fat distribution on blood pressure (BP). Methods: We included 7411 adults aged 20 to 59 who were not taking antihypertensives and without cardiovascular disease from the 2011 to 2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Leg & arm adiposity, determined via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans, was defined as percent of total body fat present in legs/arms (leg/total%, arm/total%). Measures were categorized into sex-specific tertiles. We estimated change in BP and odds ratios (ORs) of hypertension (BP ≥ 130/80) and hypertension subtypes using multivariable, survey design-adjusted linear & logistic regression, respectively. Results: Of the participants, 49% were female, the average (standard deviation) age was 37.4 (0.3) years, and 24% had hypertension. Those in the highest tertile (T3) of leg/total% had 30% decreased adjusted ORs (aOR) of hypertension compared to the lowest tertile (T1; aOR, 0.70; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.55–0.89). This association was not significant for arm/total% (0.89, 0.68–1.17). T3 of leg/total% was associated with 49% lower, 41% lower, and unchanged relative odds of isolated diastolic hypertension (IDH), systolic-diastolic hypertension (SDH), and isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) compared to T1 (IDH: 0.51, 0.37–0.70; SDH: 0.59, 0.43–0.80; ISH: 1.06, 0.70–1.59). For every 10% increase in leg/total%, diastolic BP decreased by an adjusted mean 3.5 mmHg (95% CI, − 4.8 to − 2.2) in males and 1.8 mmHg (95% CI, − 2.8 to − 0.8) in females (P < 0.001 for both). Conclusions: A greater proportional distribution of fat around the legs is inversely, independently associated with hypertension, and more specifically, diastolic hypertension (IDH and SDH).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalClinical Hypertension
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Body composition
  • Body fat distribution
  • Epidemiology
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine

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