Impact of overweight and obesity on epicardial adipose tissue in children with type 1 diabetes

Luke A. Cielonko, Arash A. Sabati, Melissa A. Chambers, Dorothee Newbern, Edward Swing, Varshini Chakravarthy, John Mullen, Jaclyn Schmidt, Natalie Lutz, Gabriel Q. Shaibi, Micah Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) thickness, a novel marker of cardiovascular disease (CVD), is increased in children with a healthy weight and type 1 diabetes (T1D). The prevalence of obesity has increased in children with T1D and may confer additional CVD risk. The purpose of this study was to examine EAT thickness in youth with and without T1D in the setting of overweight/obesity. Methods: Youth with overweight/obesity and T1D (n=38) or without T1D (n=34) between the ages of 6-18 years were included in this study. Echocardiogram using spectral and color flow Doppler was used to measure EAT and cardiac function. Waist circumference, blood pressure, and HbA1c, were used to calculate estimated glucose disposal rate (eGDR) to estimate insulin resistance in children with T1D. Results: EAT thickness was not significantly different in youth with T1D compared to controls (2.10 ± 0.67 mm vs. 1.90 ± 0.59 mm, p=0.19). When groups were combined, EAT significantly correlated with age (r=0.449, p≤0.001), BMI (r=0.538, p≤0.001), waist circumference (r=0.552, p≤0.001), systolic BP (r=0.247, p=0.036), myocardial performance index (r=-0.287, p=0.015), ejection fraction (r=-0.442, p≤0.001), and cardiac output index (r=-0.306, p=0.009). In the group with T1D, diastolic BP (r=0.39, p=0.02) and eGDR (r=-0.48, p=0.002) correlated with EAT. Conclusions: EAT was associated with measures of adiposity and insulin resistance but does not differ by diabetes status among youth with overweight/obesity. These findings suggest that adiposity rather than glycemia is the main driver of EAT thickness among youth with T1D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-377
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • epicardial adipose tissue
  • obesity
  • type 1 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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