The potentially modifiable burden of incident heart failure due to obesity

Laura R. Loehr, Wayne D. Rosamond, Charles Poole, Ann Marie McNeill, Patricia P. Chang, Anita Deswal, Aaron R. Folsom, Gerardo Heiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The authors estimated the generalized impact fraction (GIF) for heart failure (HF) related to obesity, representing the proportion of incident HF events that could be prevented from reductions in obesity and/or overweight. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study is a biracial population-based cohort study of persons aged 45-64 years from 4 US communities with a median 14 years of follow-up (1987-2003) for incident, hospitalized, or fatal HF. Body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)2) was measured at baseline (1987-1989) and categorized as normal weight (BMI <25), overweight (BMI 25-29.9), or obese (BMI ≥30). After exclusion of prevalent HF, missing BMI, and poorly represented racial groups, the sample size was 14,642. The GIF and attributable fraction were calculated using a case-load weighted-sum method. A 95% distribution of the GIF was estimated from bootstrapped data sets. A 30% hypothetical reduction in obesity/overweight would potentially prevent 8.5% (95% simulation interval: 6.1, 10.7) of incident HF events. The attributable fraction, which assumes complete elimination of obesity/overweight, was 28% (95% simulation interval: 20, 36)-approximately 3 times larger than the most optimistic GIF calculated here. Investigators studying exposures that are unlikely to be eradicated given current prevention efforts, such as obesity, should consider estimating the GIF to avoid overestimates of population impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010


  • epidemiologic methods
  • heart failure
  • obesity
  • population dynamics


Dive into the research topics of 'The potentially modifiable burden of incident heart failure due to obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this