Effectiveness of Exercise on Visceral Adipose Tissue in Older South Asian Women

TitleEffectiveness of Exercise on Visceral Adipose Tissue in Older South Asian Women
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLesser, IA, Singer, J, Hoogbruin, A, Mackey, DC, Katzmarzyk, PT, Sohal, P, Leipsic, J, Lear, SA
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

Introduction: Individuals of South Asian (SA) origin have a greater risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease than other ethnic populations. This increased risk is in part explained by the unique obesity phenotype of elevated visceral adipose tissue (VAT) among this population. Aerobic exercise in Europeans is effective at reducing VAT, but this has not been studied in SA, who have some of the lowest levels of physical activity in the world. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether exercise can reduce VAT given the unique obesity phenotype and associated disease risk in the SA population.

Methods: A total of 75 physically inactive, postmenopausal SA women were randomized to either culturally based (Bhangra dance), standard (gym-based), or control (nonexercise) program for 12-wk. The primary outcome was change in VAT.

Results: The average attendance in the culturally based and standard program was 78% ± 33% and 67% ± 25%, respectively. After an intention-to-treat analysis, VAT was not significantly reduced in culturally based (-60 cm, 95% confidence interval [CI] = -172 to 54, P = 0.300) or standard (-98 cm, 95% CI = -216 to 21, P = 0.106) exercise compared with control after adjustment for baseline physical activity and age. In those participants who attended more than two-thirds of the exercise classes, VAT was significantly reduced compared with control (-109 cm, 95% CI = -204 to -13, P = 0.026).

Conclusion: In intention-to-treat analysis VAT was not significantly reduced after 12 wk of either standard or culturally based exercise. However, attendance in both standard and culturally based exercise was high, and VAT was significantly reduced among SA women who adhered to these programs.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01766453.