Background

It is known that age, hypertension, DM, smoking and visceral fat accumulation is associated with white matter hyperintensities (WMH). We investigated the relationship between body composition as measured by DEXA and WMH in Koreans.

Methods

A total of 304 adults over 40 years of age who underwent both DEXA examination and brain MRI. Regional body fat and lean mass were calculated by DEXA. The participants were divided into three stages of WMH according to the simple modified Fazekas rating scale. The association between regional body composition and stages of WMH were evaluated.

Results

Age, waist circumference, android fat, android/gynoid fat ratio, appendicular fat percentage, appendicular lean mass, and appendicular lean percentage showed significant differences between two groups of with and without WMH in men. Age, BMI, waist circumference, total fat, android fat, android/gynoid fat ratio, android fat percentage, gynoid fat percentage, appendicular fat percentage, and appendicular lean percentage showed significant differences between two groups of with and without WMH in women. Age was the most contributable index and had a strong positive correlation in both sexes. Multiple linear regression analysis showed appendicular lean percentage in men and gynoid fat percentage in women were negatively associated with WMH.

Conclusions

Appendicular lean percentage in men and gynoid fat percentage in women were protective for WMH .