Famine exposure in early life is associated with visceral adipose dysfunction in adult females
- 91 Downloads
Epidemiologic studies have revealed that early life malnutrition increases later risk of metabolic diseases. The visceral adiposity index (VAI) is a novel sex-specific index that shows promise as a marker of visceral adipose dysfunction. We aimed to explore whether exposure to the Chinese famine between 1959 and 1962 during fetal and childhood periods was related to VAI in adulthood.
Our data source was SPECT-China, a population-based cross-sectional study in East China. Overall, 5295 subjects from 16 sites were divided into fetal-exposed (1959–1962), childhood-exposed (1949–1958), adolescence/young adult-exposed (1921–1948), and non-exposed (1963–1974) groups. The associations of life periods when exposed to famine with VAI were assessed via linear regression.
Compared with the non-exposed women (1963–1974), the fetal- and the childhood-exposed women had significantly greater VAI values (P < 0.05), but this difference was not observed in men. In the fetal- and childhood-exposed women, there was a significant positive association of famine exposure with VAI after adjusting for age, current smoking, rural/urban residence, and economic status (both P < 0.05). Further adjustments for diabetes and hypertension did not attenuate this association (both P < 0.05). However, such association was not observed in men.
Exposure to famine in early life may have a significant association with visceral adipose dysfunction in adult females. The fetal age and childhood may be important time windows for nutrition relief to prevent visceral adipose dysfunction.
KeywordsFamine Early life Visceral adipose dysfunction Female
The authors thank Weiping Tu, Bin Li, and Ling Hu for helping organize this investigation.
YL had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. YL, NW, and FX were responsible for study concept and design. CC, LZ, ZN, QL, BH, JC, YC, and XN conducted the research. CC, LZ, and ZN analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript, which was revised for important intellectual content by all authors. YL and NW are guarantors.
This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81570726, 81600609); Shanghai JiaoTong University School of Medicine (2014); Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (16410723200, 16411971200); Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning (2017YQ053); Commission of Health and Family Planning of Pudong District (PW2015D-5); The Fourth Round of 3-year Public Health Action Plan of Shanghai (15GWZK0202). The funders played no role in the design and conduct of the study; the collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or the preparation, review, and approval of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.
- 2.Balkau B, Deanfield JE, Despres JP, Bassand JP, Fox KA, Smith SC Jr, Barter P, Tan CE, Van Gaal L, Wittchen HU, Massien C, Haffner SM (2007) International day for the evaluation of abdominal obesity (IDEA): a study of waist circumference, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus in 168,000 primary care patients in 63 countries. Circulation 116(17):1942–1951. https://doi.org/10.1161/circulationaha.106.676379 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 5.Petta S, Amato M, Cabibi D, Camma C, Di Marco V, Giordano C, Galluzzo A, Craxi A (2010) Visceral adiposity index is associated with histological findings and high viral load in patients with chronic hepatitis C due to genotype 1. Hepatology 52(5):1543–1552. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep.23859 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Camhi SM, Bray GA, Bouchard C, Greenway FL, Johnson WD, Newton RL, Ravussin E, Ryan DH, Smith SR, Katzmarzyk PT (2011) The relationship of waist circumference and BMI to visceral, subcutaneous, and total body fat: sex and race differences. Obesity (Silver Spring Md) 19(2):402–408. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2010.248 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 15.Wang N, Wang X, Han B, Li Q, Chen Y, Zhu C, Chen Y, Xia F, Cang Z, Zhu C, Lu M, Meng Y, Chen C, Lin D, Wang B, Jensen MD, Lu Y (2015) Is exposure to famine in childhood and economic development in adulthood associated with diabetes? J Clin Endocrinol Metab 100(12):4514–4523. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2015-2750 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Wang N, Cheng J, Han B, Li Q, Chen Y, Xia F, Jiang B, Jensen MD, Lu Y (2017) Exposure to severe famine in the prenatal or postnatal period and the development of diabetes in adulthood: an observational study. Diabetologia 60(2):262–269. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-016-4148-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Fernandez-Mendoza J, Vgontzas AN, Liao D, Shaffer ML, Vela-Bueno A, Basta M, Bixler EO (2012) Insomnia with objective short sleep duration and incident hypertension: the Penn State Cohort. Hypertension 60(4):929–935. https://doi.org/10.1161/hypertensionaha.112.193268 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 22.Xu Y, Wang L, He J, Bi Y, Li M, Wang T, Wang L, Jiang Y, Dai M, Lu J, Xu M, Li Y, Hu N, Li J, Mi S, Chen CS, Li G, Mu Y, Zhao J, Kong L, Chen J, Lai S, Wang W, Zhao W, Ning G (2013) Prevalence and control of diabetes in Chinese adults. JAMA 310(9):948–959. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2013.168118 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 28.Brand JS, Rovers MM, Yeap BB, Schneider HJ, Tuomainen TP, Haring R, Corona G, Onat A, Maggio M, Bouchard C, Tong PC, Chen RY, Akishita M, Gietema JA, Gannage-Yared MH, Unden AL, Hautanen A, Goncharov NP, Kumanov P, Chubb SA, Almeida OP, Wittchen HU, Klotsche J, Wallaschofski H, Volzke H, Kauhanen J, Salonen JT, Ferrucci L, van der Schouw YT (2014) Testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin and the metabolic syndrome in men: an individual participant data meta-analysis of observational studies. PloS One 9(7):e100409. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0100409 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 32.Al-Daghri NM, Al-Attas OS, Alokail MS, Alkharfy KM, Charalampidis P, Livadas S, Kollias A, Sabico SL, Chrousos GP (2013) Visceral adiposity index is highly associated with adiponectin values and glycaemic disturbances. Eur J Clin Investig 43(2):183–189. https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.12030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 33.Amato MC, Verghi M, Galluzzo A, Giordano C (2011) The oligomenorrhoic phenotypes of polycystic ovary syndrome are characterized by a high visceral adiposity index: a likely condition of cardiometabolic risk. Hum Reprod (Oxford England) 26(6):1486–1494. https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/der088 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 37.Orozco-Solis R, Matos RJ, Guzman-Quevedo O, Lopes de Souza S, Bihouee A, Houlgatte R, Manhaes de Castro R, Bolanos-Jimenez F (2010) Nutritional programming in the rat is linked to long-lasting changes in nutrient sensing and energy homeostasis in the hypothalamus. PloS One 5(10):e13537. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013537 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 38.Smith SM, Vale WW (2006) The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in neuroendocrine responses to stress. Dialogues Clin Neurosci 8(4):383–395Google Scholar
- 39.Tobi EW, Goeman JJ, Monajemi R, Gu H, Putter H, Zhang Y, Slieker RC, Stok AP, Thijssen PE, Muller F, van Zwet EW, Bock C, Meissner A, Lumey LH, Eline Slagboom P, Heijmans BT (2014) DNA methylation signatures link prenatal famine exposure to growth and metabolism. Nature Commun 5:5592. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6592 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 40.Chen C, Wang N, Zhai H, Nie X, Sun H, Han B, Li Q, Chen Y, Cheng J, Xia F, Zhao L, Zheng Y, Shen Z, Lu Y (2016) Associations of blood lead levels with reproductive hormone levels in men and postmenopausal women: results from the SPECT-China Study. Sci Rep 6:37809. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep37809 CrossRefGoogle Scholar