Objective: To evaluate the individual and combined effects of obesity and muscle mass on brain volume in a community-dwelling healthy older population. Methods: One thousand two hundred nine participants (M:F = 574:635, mean age 63.6 ± 6.9 years) were included. The cross-sectional area of visceral fat (VF), the height-adjusted appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM/height2), and the ratio of thigh muscle to visceral fat (TM/VF) represented obesity, muscle mass, and their integrated value, respectively. Linear regression analysis was performed to establish associations between 215 brain compartment volumes and VF, ASM/height2, and TM/VF after adjusting for covariates. Results: On regression analysis, TM/VF had a positive correlation to the volumes of temporal lobe and cerebellum. TM/VF was associated with volumes of 10 subcompartments. TM/VF was positively correlated with the volumes of left entorhinal cortex, right temporal pole and inferior temporal gyrus related to cognition (p < 0.05, respectively), and the volumes of cerebellum and right pallidum related to movement (p < 0.05, respectively). However, VF had a negative correlation to temporal lobe volume and ASM/height2 had no significant correlation to any of the brain lobes. VF and ASM/height2 were correlated with volumes of 5 subcompartments and one subcompartment, respectively, Conclusions: TM/VF reflects the integrated effect of obesity and muscle mass and is associated with the volume of more brain regions compared to indices of obesity or muscle mass alone. The positive effect of muscle mass and the negative effect of obesity change the volumes of brain regions related to cognition and movement which were not significantly affected by obesity or muscle mass alone. Key Points: • If obesity and muscle mass were considered together, we could find more significant brain volume changes which were not found in obesity or muscle alone. • The ratio of thigh muscle to visceral fat was positively correlated with the volumes of entorhinal cortex, temporal pole, and inferior temporal gyrus related to cognition. • The ratio of thigh muscle to visceral fat was positively correlated with the volumes of cerebellum and pallidum related to movement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging