Abstract

Although abdominal obesity plays a fundamental role in the onset of immune and inflammatory reactions leading to cardiac abnormalities and premature mortality, the potential association between periumbilical fat and longevity mediated by the antibody-complement system and/or cardiac structure and function remains unclear. To address this issue, we collected biochemical and morphological data from 419 centenarians and 491 non-centenarian oldest-old individuals from the China Hainan Centenarian Cohort Study. Centenarians had lower waist circumference (WC), periumbilical fat thickness (PFT), serum complement C3 level, right atrium end-systolic diameter (RAESD), left atrium end-systolic diameter (LAESD), and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD) than non-centenarians (P<0.05 for all comparisons). WC, PFT, complement C3 levels, RAESD, LAESD, and LVEDD were inversely associated with centenarians (P<0.05 for all variables). Complement C3 level, LAESD, and LVEDD were positively associated with PFT and WC (P<0.05 for all variables). RAESD was positively associated with WC and complement C3 level (P<0.05 for both variables). Centenarians had less periumbilical fat, a weaker complement system, and smaller cardiac structure than non-centenarians. Importantly, periumbilical fat was inversely associated with longevity mediated by complement C3 and cardiac structure. This study suggests that successful aging can be promoted by increased efforts to prevent abdominal obesity.