Association between visceral obesity and sarcopenia and vitamin D deficiency in older Koreans: The Ansan geriatric study

Ji A Seo, Hyunjoo Cho, Chai R. Eun, Hye J. Yoo, Sin Gon Kim, Kyung Mook Choi, Sei-Hyun Baik, Dong S. Choi, Moon Ho Park, Changsu Han, Nan Hee Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether vitamin D levels are independently associated with visceral obesity, sarcopenia, or sarcopenic obesity. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: Population-based sample of elderly adults living in Ansan, Korea. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred sixteen men and 268 women aged 65 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, visceral fat area (VFA) according to abdominal computed tomography scanning, and body composition (body fat percentage, appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM)) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Visceral obesity was defined as VFA of 100 cm 2 or greater and sarcopenia as ASM/height 2 more than 1 standard deviation (SD) below the sex-specific mean of a young reference group. RESULTS: The adjusted 25(OH)D level for men was negatively associated with systolic blood pressure, VFA, and body fat percentage but positively associated with ASM. In women, waist circumference, triglyceride levels, and VFA were negatively correlated with 25(OH)D levels. In the joint regression model, VFA and ASM were independently associated with 25(OH)D levels (β = -0.078, P = .01 and b = 0.087, P = .02, respectively) per 1SD difference in VFA and ASM in men but not women. When participants were categorized according to four visceral obesity and sarcopenia categories, adjusted mean 25(OH)D level was lower in men with visceral obesity than in men without but was not affected by the presence or absence of sarcopenia. CONCLUSION: Greater visceral fat and lower muscle mass were associated with lower 25(OH)D levels in elderly Korean men, suggesting that screening for vitamin D deficiency may be appropriate in older Koreans with visceral obesity or sarcopenia. Sarcopenic obesity as defined according to prespecified criteria did not have an additive association with 25(OH)D levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-706
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr


  • Sarcopenia
  • Visceral obesity
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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