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Effect of obesity on cardiac function in healthy individuals without any other cardiac comorbidities A study based on echocardiography

Saket Shubham, Lavanya Maturi, Latheef Kasala, Gaikwad R D, Kranthi Chaitanya D.

Background: Obesity constitutes a major health issue in the modern world because of its association with morbidity, mortality, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The excess in body fat determines a rise in each preload and afterload leading to a hyperdynamic circulation, chronic volume overload and increase in peripheral resistance. Impairment of cardiac function has been reported to correlate with body mass index (BMI) and duration of obesity, with most studies reporting abnormal diastolic function.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the effect of obesity on the left and right ventricular (RV) function by conventional two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography in non-hypertensive, nondiabetic healthy obese individuals.

Materials and Methods: A total of 60 healthy subjects aged between 18 and 30 years, without any comorbid conditions for CVD such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and chest pain were enrolled in the study. Demographic data including height, weight, and blood pressure were collected from all the subjects through a detailed medical history and physical examination. 2D echocardiography was performed using Philips iE33 (Andover, MA, USA) echo machine by a trained sonographer who is blinded to the study.

Results: Obesity has an impact on left ventricular (LV) function as there is a significant increase in Tei index for LV (P < 0.001) and LVEDV (P = 0.046). Obesity has no effect on RV function as there is no change in tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (P = 0.628) and Tei index for RV (P = 0.682). Obesity has no effect on LV ejection fraction (P = 1.00). LV mass left atrial (LA) diameter, septal wall diameter (IVSd), and posterior wall diameter are significantly increased with an increased BMI.

Conclusion: The present study concluded that obese individuals with BMI ≥27.5 kg/m2 have increased LV wall thickness and LV mass, significantly higher risk of LV diastolic dysfunction. Although LA enlargement is associated with diastolic dysfunction which is an evidence of subclinical LV systolic dysfunction, we found no change in LVEF in all the groups which indicates that obesity does not have any effect on LV systolic function.

Key words: Obesity; Body Mass Index; Cardiac Function; Echocardiography

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