Remnant cholesterol and triglyceride (TG) – but not LDL-C or total cholesterol (TC) – have been linked to intra-pancreatic fat deposition (IPFD) in a general population study of 348 individuals in New Zealand.
All participants underwent abdominal MRI and IPFD was quantified. Blood samples were collected in the fasted state for lipid analysis, and linear regression analyses were carried out, adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index and fasting plasma glucose, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, and liver fat deposition.
Median TC, LDL-C, HDL-C and TG levels were 182.3 mg/dL, 110.3 mg/dL, 50.3 mg/dL and 106.3 mg/dL respectively. Median remnant cholesterol was 19.3 mg/dL, body mass index was 26.8 kg/m2 and total intra-pancreatic fat deposition was 8.6%.
The researchers reported that TG explained 9.7% of the variance in total IPFD, and was positively associated with total IFPD in the most adjusted model (p=0.008). Remnant cholesterol explained 9.9% of the variance in total IPFD, with a significant positive association (p=0.010). HDL-C explained 8.9% of total IPFD variance, with a negative association.
LDL-C and TC explained 3% and 2.2% of total IPFD variance respectively, and were not significantly associated with total IPFD (p=0.090 and p=0.196 respectively).
The researchers concluded that the findings may open up new opportunities for improving outcomes in people at high risk for cardiovascular diseases (who have normal LDL-C) by reducing IPFD.
Skudder-Hill L, Sequeira-Bisson IR, Ko J et al. Remnant cholesterol, but not low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, is associated with intra-pancreatic fat deposition. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2023 Aug 2. doi: 10.1111/dom.15233. Epub ahead of print