Anthropometric Prediction of Visceral Adiposity in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury

Ashraf S. Gorgey, Areej N. Ennasr, Gary J. Farkas, David R. Gater

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Over two-thirds of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) experience neurogenic obesity-induced cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) and other chronic comorbidities. Obesity is likely to impede social and recreational activities, impact quality of life, and impose additional socioeconomic burdens on persons with SCI. Advances in imaging technology facilitate the mapping of adiposity and its association with the cardiometabolic profile after SCI. Central adiposity or central obesity is characterized by increased waist (WC) and abdominal circumferences (AC) as well as visceral adipose tissue (VAT). A number of studies, while relying on expensive imaging techniques, have reported direct associations of both central obesity and VAT in imposing significant health risks after SCI. The mechanistic role of central obesity on cardiometabolic heath in persons with SCI has yet to be identified, despite the knowledge that it has been designated as an independent risk factor for cardiometabolic dysfunction and premature mortality in other clinical populations. In persons with SCI, the distribution of adipose tissue has been suggested to be a function of sex, level of injury, and age. To date, there is no SCI-specific WC or AC cutoff value to provide anthropometric prediction of VAT and diagnostic capability of persons at risk for central obesity, CMS, and cardiovascular disease after SCI. The purpose of the current review is to summarize the factors contributing to visceral adiposity in persons with SCI and to develop an SCI-specific anthropometric prediction equation for this population. Furthermore, a proposed WC cutoff will be discussed as a surrogate index for central obesity, CMS, and cardiovascular disorders after SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages13
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • anthropometrics
  • central obesity
  • spinal cord injury
  • subcutaneous adipose tissue
  • visceral adipose tissue
  • waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthropometric Prediction of Visceral Adiposity in Persons With Spinal Cord Injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this