Ethnic Differences in Visceral Adiposity Measured in Early Pregnancy
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OBJECTIVE: To determine if visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) depth in early pregnancy differs by maternal ethnicity. METHODS: We prospectively evaluated 482 women without pre-pregnancy diabetes. All underwent sonographic measurement of VAT and SAT depth at 11 to 14 weeks' gestation. RESULTS: SAT did not differ between groups, but VAT did. Compared with Canadian-born women (3.9 cm, 95% CI 3.7-4.1), mean VAT depth was higher among Latin American (4.6 cm, 95% CI 4.1-5.2), Sub-Saharan African (5.0 cm, 95% CI 4.0-6.1), and Caribbean (6.0 cm, 95% CI 4.8-7.3) women. Adjusting for age, parity, and 1/height2, the relative risks of having a VAT depth >80th percentile were 1.69 (95% CI 1.05-2.73) for Latin American, 2.24 (95% CI 1.28-3.93) for Sub-Saharan African, and 3.34 (95% CI 1.91-5.84) for Caribbean women, relative to Canadian-born women. Women from these world regions also had a greater percentage of preterm births and emergency CSs. CONCLUSION: VAT differs appreciably among certain ethnic groups, which may reflect their predisposition to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
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