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Circ Heart Fail. 2011 May;4(3):324-31. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.110.959890. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

Body mass index and adverse cardiovascular outcomes in heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction: results from the Irbesartan in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (I-PRESERVE) trial.

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Department of Cardiology, Theresienkrankenhaus, Mannheim, Germany.



Obesity is a major risk factor for incident heart failure (HF). Paradoxically, in HF with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFREF), a high body mass index (BMI) appears to be beneficial. Approximately 50% of HF patients have a preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (HFPEF). However, there are few data regarding the relationship between BMI and outcomes in HFPEF.


Baseline characteristics and cardiovascular outcomes were assessed in the 4109 patients (mean age, 72 years; mean follow-up, 49.5 months) in the Irbesartan in HF with Preserved Ejection Fraction (I-PRESERVE) trial. Based on the BMI distribution, 5 BMI categories were defined: <23.5, 23.5 to 26.4, 26.5 to 30.9, 31 to 34.9, and ≥35 kg/m(2). Most patients (71%) had a BMI ≥26.5, 21% had a BMI between 23.5 and 26.4, and 8% had a BMI <23.5 kg/m(2). Patients with higher BMI were younger, more often women, and more likely to have hypertension and diabetes and higher left ventricular ejection fraction. Patients with BMI of 26.5 to 30.9 kg/m(2) had the lowest rate for the primary composite outcome (death or cardiovascular hospitalization) and were used as reference group. After adjustment for 21 risk variables including age, sex, and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide, the hazard ratio for the primary outcome was increased in patients with BMI <23.5 (hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.56; P=0.019) and in those with BMI ≥35 kg/m(2) (hazard ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.52; P=0.011) compared with the referent group. A similar relationship was found for all-cause mortality and for HF hospitalization.


Obesity is common in HFPEF patients and is accompanied by multiple differences in clinical characteristics. Independent of other key prognostic variables, there was a U-shaped relationship, with the greatest rate of adverse outcomes in the lowest and highest BMI categories.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION- URL: Unique identifier: NCT000095238.

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