Obesity is defined as an excess body fat that impairs health and is associated with increased risk of heart failure (HF), particularly HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), evolving into a 'HFpEF obesity phenotype'. The interplay between obesity and cardiorespiratory fitness, primary clinical parameters in HF, requires further exploration. The contribution of body composition compartments in the development and progress of HF has been the object of numerous studies. Here we focus on how fat mass and lean tissues affect cardiorespiratory fitness, with emphasis on their effects on peak oxygen consumption. Moreover, while several studies have focused on characterization of body composition compartments, here we describe also recent findings related to abnormal and/or dysfunctional lean mass, especially in HFpEF.
Keywords: body composition; cardiorespiratory fitness; fat mass; heart failure with preserved ejection fraction; lean mass; skeletal muscle mass.