Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fat around heart may be early indicator of coronary disease

16.08.2011
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.

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."

"The Association of Pericardial Fat with Coronary Artery Plaque Index at MR Imaging: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)." Collaborating with Dr. Bluemke on this paper were Cuilian Miao, M.D., Shaoguang Chen, M.S., Jingzhong Ding, M.D., Kiang Liu, Ph.D., Debiao Li, Ph.D., Robson Macedo, M.D., Shenghan Lai, M.D., Jens Vogel-Claussen, M.D., Elizabeth R. Brown, Sc.D., and João A. C. Lima, M.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (http://radiology.rsna.org/)

RSNA is an association of more than 46,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)

For patient-friendly information on CT and MRI, visit RadiologyInfo.org.

Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rsna.org
http://radiology.rsna.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>