Sex and central obesity in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Hidemi Sorimachi, Kazunori Omote, Massar Omar, Dejana Popovic, Frederik H. Verbrugge, Yogesh N.V. Reddy, Grace Lin, Masaru Obokata, John M. Miles, Michael D. Jensen, Barry A. Borlaug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: Obesity is a risk factor for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), particularly in women, but the mechanisms remain unclear. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of central adiposity in patients with HFpEF and explore potential sex differences. Methods and results: A total of 124 women and 105 men with HFpEF underwent invasive haemodynamic exercise testing and rest echocardiography. Central obesity was defined as a waist circumference (WC) ≥88 cm for women and ≥102 cm for men. Exercise-normalized pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) responses were evaluated by the ratio of PCWP to workload (PCWP/W) and after normalizing to body weight (PCWL). The prevalence of central obesity (77%) exceeded that of general obesity (62%) defined by body mass index ≥30 kg/m2. Compared to patients without central adiposity, patients with HFpEF and central obesity displayed greater prevalence of diabetes and dyslipidaemia, higher right and left heart filling pressures and pulmonary artery pressures during exertion, and more severely reduced aerobic capacity. Associations between WC and fasting glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, peak workload, and pulmonary artery pressures were observed in women but not in men with HFpEF. Although increased WC was associated with elevated PCWP in both sexes, the association with PCWP/W was observed in women but not in men. The strength of correlation between PCWP/W and WC was more robust in women with HFpEF as compared to men (Meng's test p = 0.0008), and a significant sex interaction was observed in the relationship between PCWL and WC (p for interaction = 0.02). Conclusions: Central obesity is even more common than general obesity in HFpEF, and there appear to be important sexual dimorphisms in its relationships with metabolic abnormalities and haemodynamic perturbations, with greater impact in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1359-1370
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Central obesity
  • Heart failure
  • Waist circumference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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