Obesity and right ventricular structure and function: The MESA-right ventricle study

Harjit Chahal, Robyn L. McClelland, Harikrishna Tandri, Aditya Jain, Evrim B. Turkbey, W. Gregory Hundley, R. Graham Barr, Jorge Kizer, João A.C. Lima, David A. Bluemke, Steven M. Kawut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Background: The relationship between obesity and right ventricular (RV) morphology is not well studied. We aimed to determine the association between obesity and RV structure and function in a large multiethnic population-based cohort. Methods: The MESA-Right Ventricle Study measured RV mass and volumes by cardiac MRI in participants aged 45 to 84 years without clinical cardiovascular disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Participants were divided into three categories based on BMI: lean (≤24.9 kg/m2), overweight (25-29.9 kg/m2), and obese (≥30 kg/m2). Results: The study sample included 4,127 participants. After adjustment for demographics, height, education, and cardiovascular risk factors, overweight and obese participants had greater RV mass (6% and 9% greater, respectively), larger RV end-diastolic volume (8% and 18% greater, respectively), larger RV stroke volume (7% and 16% greater, respectively), and lower RV ejection fraction (≥1% lower) than lean participants (all P<.001). These findings persisted after adjusting for the respective left ventricular (LV) parameters. Conclusions: Overweight and obesity were independently associated with differences in RV morphology even after adjustment for the respective LV measure. This association could be explained by increased RV afterload, increased blood volume, hormonal effects, or direct obesity-related myocardial effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-395
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding/Support: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health [Grants R01-HL086719, R01-HL077612, and N01-HC95159 through N01-HC95169].

Funding Information:
Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The authors have reported to CHEST the following conflicts of interest: Dr Barr currently receives grant funding for research support from the National Institutes of Health, US Environmental Protection Agency, Alpha1 Foundation, and Columbia University. Cenesta Health donated a nutritional supplement for NIH-sponsored trial. Drs Chahal, McClelland, Tandri, Jain, Turkbey, Hundley, Barr, Kizer, Lima, Bluemke, and Kawut, have reported that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.


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