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Association between adiposity and systemic atherosclerosis: a protocol of a cross-sectional autopsy study



Adiposity has been associated with atherosclerosis in clinical studies. However, few autopsy studies have investigated this association, and they had only examined the coronary artery disease. Moreover, most studies had small sample sizes and were limited to middle-aged or young adults. Our aim is to investigate the association between adiposity and systemic atherosclerosis in an autopsy study.

Methods and analysis

A sample of 240 deceased with 30 years or more will be evaluated. The sample size was calculated using the lowest correlation coefficient found in previous studies (r=0.109), assuming a power of 90% and α=0.05. We will collect information about sociodemographics, frequency of previous contact of the deceased's next of kin and cardiovascular risk factors. We will measure neck, waist and hip circumferences, weight, height and abdominal subcutaneous tissue thickness, and then we will calculate the body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio and body shape index. We will also weigh the pericardial and abdominal visceral fat, the heart, and we will measure the left ventricular wall thickness. We will evaluate the presence of myocardial infarction, the degree of atherosclerosis in the aorta, carotid, coronary and cerebral arteries and plaque composition in carotid, coronary and cerebral arteries. For each individual, we will fix arterial and adipose tissue samples in 10% formalin and freeze another adipose tissue sample at -80°C for future studies.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethical approval was granted by the Ethics Committee of University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil. Results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

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