Increased Trunk Fat and Decreased Limb Fat Linked to Elevated Cardiovascular Risk in Hong Kong Chinese Women

Qingling Yang, Yao Jie Xie, Lin Yang, Chun Hao

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Introduction: Despite known links between overall body fat and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, the relationship involving regional body fat (arm, trunk, and leg) remains underexplored in Chinese populations. This study examined the associations between overall and regional body fat percentage (BFP) and CVD risk in Hong Kong Chinese women.

Hypothesis: We hypothesized that higher overall and trunk BFP were associated with increased CVD risk, whereas higher arm and leg BFP predicted decreased risk.

Methods: This study used baseline data of 3616 women (mean age 56.12±8.51) from an ongoing cohort named ‘MECH-HK’ (Migraine Exposures and Cardiovascular Health in Hong Kong Chinese Women). The recruitment was conducted between October 2019 and October 2021. BFP was measured using the bioelectrical impedance analysis device of Inbody 270 model. Framingham 10-Year Risk Score (FRS) was calculated to present the CVD risks. Multivariate linear models were used to estimate the BFP-FRS associations. Potential non-linear relationships were assessed with restricted cubic spline models.

Results: Mean overall BFP was 32.55%, and regional BFP for arm, trunk and leg were 4.59%, 15.38% and 10.76%, respectively. Non-linear associations between overall BFP and FRS were observed (P for non-linear = 0.03). After adjustment for age, education level, monthly family income, smoking and drinking status, physical activity level, family history of CVD and BMI, the overall BFP was associated with increased FRS (β: 0.04, 95% CI: 0.00 to 0.08, P = 0.03) when overall BFP < 35%. However, no significant association was observed when overall BFP >= 35% (β:-0.07, 95% CI: -0.16 to 0.02, P = 0.13). Higher trunk BFP was associated with increased FRS (β: 0.30, 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.38, P < 0.001), while higher arm (β: -0.69, 95% CI: -0.98 to -0.40, P < 0.001) and leg (β: -0.38, 95% CI-0.50 to -0.25, P < 0.001) BFP were associated with decreased FRS.

Conclusions: Increased overall (when < 35%) and trunk BFP and decreased arm and leg BFP are associated with elevated CVD risk.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCirculation
Volume149 (Suppl_1)
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2024
EventEPI|Lifestyle Scientific Sessions 2024 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 18 Mar 202421 Mar 2024


ConferenceEPI|Lifestyle Scientific Sessions 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Trunk Fat
  • Limb Fat
  • Cardiovascular Risk
  • Chinese Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)


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