Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fat around heart may be early indicator of coronary disease

Date:
August 19, 2011
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
Researchers have found more evidence supporting the role of fat around the heart in promoting atherosclerosis, according to a new study. New results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) show that pericardial fat is more strongly related to coronary artery plaque than either body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference.

Researchers have found more evidence supporting the role of fat around the heart in promoting atherosclerosis, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology.

Related Articles


New results from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) show that pericardial fat is more strongly related to coronary artery plaque than either body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference.

When plaque forms in the arteries, it deposits in an irregular manner, causing thickening of the artery wall on one side, but not the other. The ratio of the thick side to the thin side is referred to as plaque eccentricity and is a strong indicator of heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new heart attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack. Every 60 seconds, one person in the U.S. dies from a heart attack.

While previous studies have looked at the relationship of pericardial fat to atherosclerosis in patients with severe coronary disease, this is the first study to determine the association of pericardial fat on coronary artery plaque burden in asymptomatic individuals.

"The individuals in this study had no symptoms and were otherwise healthy," said senior author David A. Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., director of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Care. "They did not have significant coronary artery narrowing. Yet, despite this, they had coronary plaque that could be detected by MRI."

For the study, 183 individuals without clinical cardiovascular disease were recruited from the Baltimore and Chicago field centers of MESA, a study funded by the NIH. Participants included 89 women and 94 men with a mean age of 61 years.

"The individuals were fairly representative of the U.S. population, although the majority were overweight," Dr. Bluemke said.

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure coronary artery eccentricity (ratio of maximal to minimal artery wall thickness) as a measure of early-stage atherosclerosis and computed tomography (CT) to determine pericardial fat volume.

"Pericardial fat is located behind the sternum, around the heart, and we cannot see it except with CT or MRI," Dr. Bluemke said. "In some people, extra fat forms preferentially in this area. We do not know why. However, extra fat around the heart is generally associated with being overweight or obese."

The results showed that pericardial fat volume correlated significantly with the degree of plaque eccentricity in both men and women. After adjustment for BMI, waist circumference, traditional risk factors, C-reactive protein level and coronary calcium content, the relationship between pericardial fat and plaque eccentricity remained significant in men, but not in women.

"The findings indicate yet another reason that obesity is bad for us," Dr. Bluemke said. "It is particularly bad when the fat forms around the heart, since the heart fat appears to further promote coronary artery plaque."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cuilian Miao, Shaoguang Chen, Jingzhong Ding, Kiang Liu, Debiao Li, Robson Macedo, Shenghan Lai, Jens Vogel-Claussen, Elizabeth R. Brown, Joγo A. C. Lima, and David A. Bluemke. The Association of Pericardial Fat with Coronary Artery Plaque Index at MR Imaging: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Radiology, 2011; DOI: 10.1148/radiol.11110346

Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Fat around heart may be early indicator of coronary disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816084450.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2011, August 19). Fat around heart may be early indicator of coronary disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816084450.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Fat around heart may be early indicator of coronary disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816084450.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins