The relationship between measures of obesity and incident heart failure: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the strength of association of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) with incident heart failure (HF), exploring our associations by ethnicity and age. Design and Methods: 6,809 participants, aged 45-84 years old, without clinical cardiovascular disease (2000-2002), from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis were included. Cox-Proportional hazards models were used to examine associations of BMI and WC with incident HF. The predictive abilities of BMI and WC were compared using receiver operating characteristic curves. Results: Over a median follow-up of 7.6 years, there were 176 cases. BMI and WC were associated with incident HF in men (1.33 [1.10-1.61] and 1.38 [1.18-1.62], respectively] and women (1.70 [1.33-2.17] and 1.64 [1.29-2.08], respectively). These associations became non-significant after adjusting for obesity-related conditions (hypertension, dysglycemia, hypercholesterolemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, kidney disease, and inflammation). The associations of BMI and WC did not vary significantly by ethnicity or age-group, but were inverse in Hispanic men. The area under the curve for BMI and WC was 0.749 and 0.750, respectively, in men and 0.782 and 0.777, respectively, in women. Conclusions: The association between obesity and incident HF is largely mediated by obesity-related conditions. BMI and WC have similar predictive abilities for incident HF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1915-1922
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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