Fat around the heart related to an increased risk of heart failure


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According to new Mount Sinai research, having an excess of pericardial fat (heart fat) increases the risk of developing heart failure, especially in women.

Women with a large amount of pericardial fat are twice as likely to develop failure, while men are 50% more likely, according to the study, published in the May 24 online issue of Journal of the American College of Cardiology. It is the largest study that identifies the link between pericardial fat and heart failure, which can lead to early intervention and prevention of heart disease.

“For almost two decades we have known that obesity, based on the simple measurement of height and weight, can double the risk of heart failure, but now we have gone one step further by using imaging technology to show that excess pericardial fat, perhaps due to its location close to the , further increases the risk of this life-threatening disease: heart failure, “explains lead researcher Satish Kenchaiah, MD, associate professor of medicine (cardiology) at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.” This work provides us with an important tool to stratify patients into an increasing risk of heart failure, which can possibly lead to early intervention and prevention of heart failure to ultimately save people’s lives. “

Researchers involved in a multi-institutional collaboration examined the association between pericardial fat and risk of heart failure using chest computed tomography (CT) from the Multiethnic Atherosclerosis Study (MESA), a research study medical sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. This prospective study used computed tomography scans of about 7,000 women and men between the ages of 45 and 84 in the United States with diverse racial backgrounds to measure pericardial fat. None of the participants had evidence of heart disease when the study was started.

The researchers followed these participants for more than 17 years and noted that nearly 400 of them developed heart failure. Their analysis found that excess pericardial fat was associated with an increased risk of heart failure in both women and men, even after adjusting to for heart failure such as age, smoking, alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, , high blood sugar, high cholesterol and heart attacks. After considering these risk factors for heart failure, a high volume of pericardial fat increased the risk of developing heart failure by approximately 100%, or twice, in women and about 50% in women. men. For this study, the researchers defined excess or “high” volume of pericardial fat as 70 cubic centimeters (2.4 fluid ounces) or more in women and 120 cubic centimeters (4 fluid ounces) or more in men. Lower amounts were considered “normal.”

The researchers also reported that pericardial fat was weakly or moderately correlated with indicators of overweight or obesity such as body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, and that it remained a risk factor for heart failure above and beyond the risk of being overweight or obese. In fact, pericardial fat was associated with new cases of heart failure, regardless of whether participants were lean, overweight, or obese. In addition, in a smaller sample of participants who underwent abdominal computed tomography to determine the amount of abdominal fat under the skin and abdomen, pericardial fat predicted the risk of heart failure even after take into account excess abdominal fat.

The link between pericardial fat and heart failure was similar between all racial and ethnic groups represented in the study: white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese.

“Our research provides strong evidence that excess pericardial fat substantially increases the risk. “says Dr. Kenchaiah.” Additional studies are needed to confirm our results. Future research in this field should also focus on ways, such as a heart-healthy diet and staying physically active, to achieve and maintain optimal body weight and reduce and prevent fat deposition around the heart. “.

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Citation: Fat around the heart related to increased risk of heart failure (2021, May 24) recovered on May 24, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-fat-heart-linked- failure.html

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