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Head fat is a novel method of measuring metabolic disorder in Chinese obese patients

Xing-chun Wang12, Huan Liu2, Yue-ye Huang1, Hang Sun1, Le Bu1 and Shen Qu12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:113  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-113

Published: 12 July 2014



Body adiposity, especially ectopic fat accumulation, has a range of metabolic and cardiovascular effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between head fat and metabolic values in Chinese obese patients.


Data of this cross-sectional study from 66 obese patients were collected. Fat distribution was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and data of body weight, body mass index (BMI), neck circumference (NC), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), visceral index, basal metabolism (BM), glucose metabolism, lipid levels, uric acid (UA) had been collected.


1) Head fat was significantly associated with BMI, WC, HC, visceral index, BM, total fat and total fat excluding head fat in both males and females (p < 0.05). Head fat was positively correlated with upper limb fat, trunk fat, weight, fasting plasma C peptide, fasting plasma insulin and UA in women(p < 0.05), and the association was not statistically significant in male (p > 0.05). Head fat was positively corrected with NC in males (p < 0.05) but not females (p > 0.05). There was no significant correlation between head fat and fasting plasma glucose, total choleslerolemia, triglyceridemia, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and free fat acid in either gender (p > 0.05). 2) Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that a head fat of 1925.6 g and a head fat of 1567.85 g were the best cut-off values to determine subjects with low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and hyperuricemia respectively.


Head fat accumulation was closely associated with increased body fat, hyperinsulinemia, hyperuricemia, and impared lipid profile, suggesting it might be used as an indicator for dyslipidemia and hyperuricemia.

Obesity; Head fat; Regional fat; Lipid profile; Hyperuricemia