Introduction: Obesity is linked to an adverse cardiac structural phenotype in cross-sectional studies. However, the effects of longitudinal changes in generalized and central adiposity on left ventricular (LV) remodeling are unknown.
Methods: Participants without baseline cardiovascular disease or LV dysfunction in the Dallas Heart Study underwent assessment of body composition and cardiac structure by MRI at baseline and then 7 years later. Associations between change in weight and waist circumference with alterations in structure and function were assessed using multivariable linear regression.
Results: The study cohort (n=1262) had a mean age of 44 years and was 43% (545 of 1262) male, 44% (556 of 1262) African-American, and 36% (460 of 1262) obese at baseline. At 7 years follow-up, 7% (85 of 1262) had >10% weight loss, 8% (108 of 1262) had 5-10% weight loss, 44% (551 of 1262) had <5% weight change, 20% (248 of 1262) had 5-10% weight gain, and 21% (270 of 1262) had >10% weight gain. Those who gained >10% weight were younger, had lower BMI and LV mass at baseline, and had greater increases in blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and hs-CRP over follow-up. In multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, race, and baseline and interim development of comorbidities, 1-standard deviation increases in body weight and waist circumference over follow-up were significantly associated with higher LV mass, LV wall thickness, and concentricity; but minimally or not significantly associated with LV end-diastolic volume or ejection fraction (EF) (Table).
Conclusion: Increases in generalized and central adiposity are characterized primarily by concentric remodeling, with a more modest impact on LV volume and EF. These results support the notion that the development of specific obesity patterns may impact cardiac remodeling with potential implications for the development of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.