BACKGROUND - Obesity is highly prevalent among blacks and is associated with a greater risk of heart failure (HF). However, the contribution of regional adiposity depots such as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue toward risk of HF in blacks is unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We included 2602 participants (mean age: 59 years, 35% men) from the Jackson Heart Study without prevalent HF who underwent computed tomography quantification of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue during the second visit (2005-2009). The associations between different adiposity measures and HF were evaluated using adjusted Cox models. There were 122 incident HF events over a median follow-up of 7.1 years. Higher amounts of VAT were associated with greater risk of HF in age- and sex-adjusted analyses (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1-SD higher VAT: 1.29 [1.09-1.52]). This association was attenuated and not significant after additional adjustment for traditional HF risk factors and body mass index. Overall obesity, represented by body mass index, was associated with higher risk of HF independent of risk factors and VAT (hazard ratio [95% CI] per 1-kg/m higher body mass index: 1.06 [1.02-1.11]). Subcutaneous adipose tissue was not associated with risk of HF in adjusted analyses.
CONCLUSIONS - In a community-dwelling black population, higher amounts of overall and visceral adiposity are associated with higher risk of HF. The association between VAT and HF risk in blacks may reflect differences in traditional HF risk factor burden. Future studies are needed to confirm this observation and clarify the independent role of different measures of adiposity on HF outcomes.