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Ann Afr Med. 2012 Oct-Dec;11(4):212-6. doi: 10.4103/1596-3519.102851.

The "obesity paradox" in Nigerians with heart failure.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria.



Previous studies have suggested that a high body mass index (BMI) was associated with improved outcome in congestive heart failure (CHF). The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between BMI and echocardiographic variables of cardiac function in stable outpatients with heart failure.


This is a cross-sectional study in which the cardiology clinic out-patients of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital with heart failure were recruited. Patients were categorized using baseline BMI as normal weight BMI = 18.5-24.9 kg/m(2) and overweight/obese (BMI > 25.0 kg/m(2)). Risks associated with BMI groups were evaluated and the data were analyzed with the aid of SPSS 15.0 software.


Patients with higher BMI have higher left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening and lesser tendency to have an abnormal left ventricular geometry and better functional (New York Heart Association) class of heart failure at presentation.


Overweight and obese patients had less severe degree of heart failure than normal weight patients and efforts should be made to prevent excessive weight loss in patients with heart failure.

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