Abdominal obesity in type 1 diabetes associated with gender, cardiovascular risk factors and complications, and difficulties achieving treatment targets: A cross sectional study at a secondary care diabetes clinic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Abdominal obesity is linked to cardiovascular diseases in type 1 diabetes (T1D). The primary aim was to explore associations between abdominal obesity and cardiovascular complications, metabolic and inflammatory factors. The secondary aim was to explore whether achieved recommended treatment targets differed between the obese and non-obese participants. Methods: Cross sectional study of 284 T1D patients (age 18-59 years, men 56%), consecutively recruited from one secondary care specialist diabetes clinic in Sweden. Anthropometrics, blood pressure, serum-lipids and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were collected and supplemented with data from the patients' medical records and from the Swedish National Diabetes Registry. Abdominal obesity was defined as waist circumference men/women (meters): ≥1.02/≥0.88. Hs-CRP was divided into low-, moderate-, and high-risk groups for future cardiovascular events (< 1, 1 to 3, and > 3 to ≤8.9 mg/l). Treatment targets were blood pressure ≤ 130/≤ 80, total cholesterol ≤4.5 mmol/l, LDL: ≤ 2.5 mmol/l, and HbA1c: ≤5 2 mmol/mol (≤ 6.9%). Different explanatory linear, logistic and ordinal regression models were elaborated for the associations, and calibrated and validated for goodness of fit with the data variables. Results: The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 49/284 (17%), men/women: 8%/29% (P < 0.001). Women (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.5), cardiovascular complications (AOR 5.7), HbA1c > 70 mmol/mol (> 8.6%) (AOR 2.7), systolic blood pressure (per mm Hg) (AOR 1.05), and triglycerides (per mmol/l) (AOR 1.7), were associated with abdominal obesity. Sub analyses (n = 171), showed that abdominal obesity (AOR 5.3) and triglycerides (per mmol/l) (AOR 2.8) were associated with increasing risk levels of hs-CRP. Treatment targets were obtained for fewer patients with abdominal obesity for HbA1c (8% vs 21%, P = 0.044) and systolic blood pressure (51% vs 68%, P = 0.033). No patients with abdominal obesity reached all treatment targets compared to 8% in patients without abdominal obesity. Conclusions: Significant associations between abdominal obesity and gender, cardiovascular disease, and the cardiovascular risk factors low-grade inflammation, systolic blood pressure, high HbA1c, and triglycerides, were found in 284 T1D patients. Fewer patients with abdominal obesity reached the treatment targets for HbA1c and systolic blood pressure compared to the non-obese.


External organisations
  • Region Kronoberg
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Växjö Central Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Abdominal obesity, Cardiovascular complications, Diabetes mellitus type 1, Gender, Glycemic control, Hyperlipidemia, Hypertension, Inflammation, Treatment targets
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalBMC Obesity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 14
Publication categoryResearch