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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Visceral fat (VF) is a source of pro-inflammatory adipokines implicated in cardiac remodeling. We sought to determine the impact of visceral fat and subcutaneous fat (SQ) depots on left ventricular (LV) structure, function, and geometry in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a post-hoc analysis on 1151 participants from MESA with cardiac magnetic resonance quantification of LV mass and LV mass-to-volume ratio (LVMV, an index of concentricity) and computed tomographic-derived SQ and VF area. Multivariable regression models to estimate association between height-indexed SQ and VF area (per cm(2)/m) with height-indexed LV mass (per height(2.7)) and LVMV were constructed, adjusted for clinical, biochemical, and demographic covariates. We found that both VF and SQ area were associated with height-indexed LV mass (ρ = 0.36 and 0.12, P < 0.0001, respectively), while only VF area was associated with LVMV (ρ = 0.28, P < 0.0001). Individuals with above-median VF had lower LV ejection fraction, greater indexed LV volumes and mass, and higher LVMV (all P < 0.001). In multivariable models adjusted for weight, VF (but not SQ) area was associated with LV concentricity and LV mass index, across both sexes. CONCLUSION: Visceral adiposity is independently associated with LV concentricity, a precursor to heart failure. Further study into the role of VF in LV remodeling as a potential therapeutic target is warranted.

Original publication




Journal article


Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis

Publication Date





667 - 676


Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, Obesity, Remodeling, Visceral adiposity, Adipokines, Aged, Atherosclerosis, Body Mass Index, Ethnic Groups, Female, Heart Ventricles, Humans, Intra-Abdominal Fat, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Obesity, Abdominal, Stroke Volume, Subcutaneous Fat, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, United States, Ventricular Remodeling