The impact of obesity on left ventricular mass and geometry. The Framingham Heart Study

JAMA. 1991 Jul 10;266(2):231-6.


Objective: --To determine the relationship of varying degrees of obesity with left ventricular mass and geometry.

Design: --Survey.

Setting: --Population-based epidemiologic study.

Participants and methods: --M-mode echocardiograms, which were adequate for estimation of left ventricular mass, were obtained in 3922 healthy participants of the Framingham Heart Study. Measured height and weight were used to calculate body-mass index, a measure of obesity.

Results: --Body-mass index was strongly correlated with left ventricular mass. After adjusting for age and blood pressure, body-mass index remained a strong independent predictor of left ventricular mass, left ventricular wall thickness, and left ventricular internal dimension (P less than .01 for all). Body-mass index was associated with prevalence of echocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy, particularly in subjects with a body-mass index exceeding 30 kg/m2.

Conclusions: --Obesity is significantly correlated with left ventricular mass, even after controlling for age and blood pressure. The increase in left ventricular mass associated with increasing adiposity reflects increases in both left ventricular wall thickness and left ventricular internal dimension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiomegaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomegaly / epidemiology
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology*
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Sampling Studies
  • Skinfold Thickness