Mechanisms of heart failure in obesity

Imo A. Ebong, David C. Goff, Carlos J. Rodriguez, Haiying Chen, Alain G. Bertoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Heart failure is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and its prevalence continues to rise. Because obesity has been linked with heart failure, the increasing prevalence of obesity may presage further rise in heart failure in the future. Obesity-related factors are estimated to cause 11% of heart failure cases in men and 14% in women. Obesity may result in heart failure by inducing haemodynamic and myocardial changes that lead to cardiac dysfunction, or due to an increased predisposition to other heart failure risk factors. Direct cardiac lipotoxicity has been described where lipid accumulation in the heart results in cardiac dysfunction inexplicable of other heart failure risk factors. In this overview, we discussed various pathophysiological mechanisms that could lead to heart failure in obesity, including the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac lipotoxicity. We defined the obesity paradox and enumerated various premises for the paradoxical associations observed in the relationship between obesity and heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e540-e548
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart failure
  • Mechanisms
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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