Relationship Between Regional Adiposity Distribution and Incident Heart Failure in General Populations without Cardiovascular Disease

Published:December 07, 2022DOI:



      Obesity is associated with a high risk of heart failure. However, the contribution of regional fat distribution evaluated using bioimpedance analysis toward heart failure risk in the general population without cardiovascular disease has rarely been studied.


      This study included 483,316 participants without heart failure and cardiovascular disease from the UK Biobank study. The regional fat mass was determined by bioimpedance analysis and calculated by dividing the square of height in meters (kg/m2). This study evaluated the association of regional fat mass (arm fat index [AFI], trunk fat index [TFI], and leg fat index [LFI]) with the risk of incident heart failure and whether regional fat mass adds a further prognostic value for heart failure besides body mass index (BMI) in a large prospective cohort study.


      During the median 12.1 years, 3134 incident heart failure cases occurred. After adjustment for BMI and other confounding factors, each 1-standard deviation increase in LFI was associated with a 21% lower heart failure risk even after adjusting for BMI and other confounding factors (hazard ratio [HR] 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73-0.85). However, we did not observe heart failure-associated risks with AFI and TFI (HR 1.04; 95% CI, 0.99-1.09; HR 0.97, 95% CI, 0.91–1.04, respectively). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that the protective role of LFI was more prominent in the elderly and female participants (P < .01).


      Regional fat measurement other than BMI can improve heart failure risk stratification; leg fat plays a protective role, yet arm and trunk fat do not, in the general population without cardiovascular disease.


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