, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 380–385

Metabolic fuel utilization and subclinical atherosclerosis in overweight/obese subjects

  • Tiziana Montalcini
  • Carmine Gazzaruso
  • Yvelise Ferro
  • Valeria Migliaccio
  • Stefania Rotundo
  • Alberto Castagna
  • Arturo Pujia
Original Article


The utilization of different macronutrients is relevant for the risk of obesity, diabetes, or the appearing of vascular complications. The Respiratory Quotient (RQ) is a parameter measuring the fuel utilizations; in fact, it can indicate the fat stores utilization or lipogenesis activation. Aim of this study was to investigate the link between the RQ and the subclinical carotid atherosclerosis presence in overweight/obese subjects. 132 subjects with body mass index at least 25, at conventional diet, underwent an Indirect Calorimetry for the measurement of the Resting Metabolic Rate as well as the RQ and an evaluation of carotid arteries with ultrasound. Biochemical analyses were also performed. The mean age was 48 ± 12 years. There was a positive relation between carotid intima-media thickness and RQ (p = 0.010), with the high value in the subgroup with high RQ (p = 0.045 vs. group with low RQ). The RQ, an index of fuel utilization, is positively associated to subclinical carotid atherosclerosis in overweight/obese individuals.


Obesity Atherosclerosis Indirect calorimetry Respiratory Quotient 



Respiratory Quotient


Carotid intima media thickness


Resting metabolic rate


Waist circumference


Body mass index


Systolic blood pressure


Diastolic blood pressure


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiziana Montalcini
    • 1
  • Carmine Gazzaruso
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yvelise Ferro
    • 1
  • Valeria Migliaccio
    • 1
  • Stefania Rotundo
    • 1
  • Alberto Castagna
    • 1
  • Arturo Pujia
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Nutrition Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical ScienceUniversity Magna Grecia, CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  2. 2.Diabetes, Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases and Cardiovascular Prevention UnitClinical Institute “Beato Matteo”VigevanoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicineI.R.C.C.S. Policlinico San Donato MilaneseMilan Italy

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